U.S. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UP 1.1%
FRB - Industrial production rose 1.1 percent in February following a decline of 0.3 percent in January. Manufacturing production increased 1.2 percent in February, its largest gain since October. Mining output jumped 4.3 percent, mostly reflecting strong gains in oil and gas extraction. The index for utilities fell 4.7 percent, as warmer-than-normal temperatures last month reduced the demand for heating. At 108.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 4.4 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector climbed 0.7 percentage point in February to 78.1 percent, its highest reading since January 2015 but still 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
The output of consumer goods edged up 0.1 percent in February. A drop of 6.1 percent for consumer energy products, due to declines in residential electricity and gas sales, nearly outweighed widespread and sizable gains posted by most other consumer goods categories. The output of durable consumer goods jumped 2.8 percent, while the output of non-energy nondurables moved up 1.0 percent. Business equipment registered a gain of 1.0 percent, with advances of more than 1.0 percent posted by transit equipment and information processing equipment and with a smaller increase recorded by industrial and other equipment. The index for defense and space equipment rose 1.5 percent. The output of construction supplies jumped 2.3 percent, while the index for business supplies was unchanged. The production of materials moved up 1.6 percent, with gains in almost all of its components.
In February, manufacturing output increased 1.2 percent. Gains were recorded by every major manufacturing industry except for electrical equipment, appliances, and components and for petroleum and coal products. The production of durables climbed 1.8 percent, and the index for nondurables moved up 0.7 percent. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) increased 0.4 percent.
The output of mining jumped 4.3 percent in February, more than reversing its decline in January. The gain in the index for February reflected strength in the oil and gas sector and in coal mining. The index for oil and gas extraction in February was about 12 percent higher than its year-earlier level and was at the highest level in the history of the series.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing rose 0.9 percentage point to 76.9 percent in February. The factory operating rate has risen 1.3 percentage points over the past 12 months to reach its highest level since April 2008, but it was still 1.4 percentage points below its long-run average. Utilization for durables increased 1.2 percentage points to 76.8 percent, a rate that is 0.1 percentage point below its long-run average. The operating rates for both nondurables and other manufacturing rose 0.5 percentage point, to 78.0 percent and 63.4 percent, respectively. Utilization for mining rose 3.3 percentage points to 87.6 percent, which is 0.6 percentage point above its long-run average. The capacity utilization rate for utilities fell 3.9 percentage points to 76.9 percent and remained below its long-run average.
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FT - US shale oil companies have started to generate free cash thanks to the rise in crude prices, a landmark moment for an industry that has until now relied on an inflow of capital to support its growth.
WBG - Bank Group must strengthen its financial capacity to meet the aspirations of its shareholders, mobilize capital at scale, and respond to global development challenges.
IMF - we agreed on the need to accelerate structural reforms and access to finance in order to raise overall investment and medium-term growth rates to support job creation. The Fund, through its policy advice, can assist countries to design and implement growth-friendly fiscal adjustment, when needed, that responds to the country-specific sources of debt vulnerabilities while preserving needed investments in infrastructure, human capital, and other priority expenditures
IMF - Directors also agreed that the Fund should continue to address governance issues and corruption in surveillance when the applicable standard of the Integrated Surveillance Decision has been met.