U.S. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UP 0.5%
FRB - Industrial production rose 0.5 percent in March after increasing 1.0 percent in February; the index advanced 4.5 percent at an annual rate for the first quarter as a whole. After having climbed 1.5 percent in February, manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent in March. Mining output rose 1.0 percent, mostly as a result of gains in oil and gas extraction and in support activities for mining. The index for utilities jumped 3.0 percent after being suppressed in February by warmer-than-normal temperatures. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.3 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up 0.3 percentage point in March to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
The output of consumer goods advanced 0.5 percent in March. The production of durable consumer goods jumped 0.9 percent on the strength of a 2.7 percent gain for automotive products. The output of consumer nondurables moved up 0.4 percent, as a sharp increase in the index for consumer energy products was mostly offset by a drop in the index for non-energy nondurable consumer goods. Business equipment registered a gain of 0.5 percent, and all of its major categories posted increases. The index for defense and space equipment rose 0.7 percent. The output of construction supplies fell 0.3 percent after jumping 2.8 percent in February. In March, the index for business supplies recorded an increase of 0.4 percent. The production of materials moved up 0.6 percent, primarily as a result of a gain of 1.2 percent for energy materials.
Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent in March and increased 3.1 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter. In March, a decline of 0.3 percent for nondurables was outweighed by gains of 0.4 percent for durables and 0.2 percent for other manufacturing (publishing and logging). Among durables, the index for motor vehicles and parts increased 2.7 percent; vehicle assemblies moved up to 12.0 million units at an annual rate, their highest level since December 2016.
The index for mining climbed 1.0 percent in March and was 10.8 percent higher than its year-earlier level. Mining output has increased for six consecutive quarters, but it is still about 4 percent below its peak in 2014.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing decreased 0.1 percentage point in March to 75.9 percent, a rate that is 2.4 percentage points below its long-run average. The operating rate for durables, at 75.9 percent, was 1.0 percentage point below its long-run average, whereas the rates for nondurables and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging), at 77.0 percent and 61.3 percent, respectively, were further below their long-run averages of about 80 percent for each. Utilization for mining rose 0.5 percentage point to 90.1 percent, which is 3.1 percentage points above its long-run average but 1.5 percentage points below its high in 2014. The capacity utilization rate for utilities jumped 2.2 percentage points to 79.0 percent but remained below its long-run average.
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API - American Petroleum Institute reported that the first four months of this year saw U.S. petroleum demand average 750 thousand barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices, a sign of solid economic activity. April also saw the U.S. produce a record 10.5 million barrels per day (MBD) of oil.
IMF - “Egypt’s growth has continued to accelerate during 2017/18, rising to 5.2 percent in the first half of the year from 4.2 percent in 2016/17. The current account deficit has also declined sharply, reflecting the recovery in tourism and strong growth in remittances, while improved investor confidence has continued to support portfolio inflows. In addition, gross international reserves rose to $44 billion by end-April, equal to 7 months of imports.
BAKER HUGHES A GE - U.S. Rig Count is up 1 rig from last week to 1,046, with oil rigs unchanged at 844, gas rigs up 1 to 200, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 2. Canada Rig Count is up 4 rigs from last week to 83, with oil rigs up 6 to 38 and gas rigs down 2 to 45.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.57 per barrel at 0310 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.62 a barrel, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.