U.S. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UP 0.1%
U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in October, as a gain for manufacturing outweighed decreases elsewhere. As a result of upward revisions primarily in mining, the overall index is now reported to have advanced at an annual rate of 4.7 percent in the third quarter, appreciably above the gain of 3.3 percent reported initially. Hurricanes lowered the level of industrial production in both September and October, but their effects appear to be less than 0.1 percent per month. In October, manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent for its fifth consecutive monthly increase, while the indexes for mining and for utilities declined 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. At 109.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.1 percent higher in October than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 78.4 percent, a rate that is 1.4 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
The major market groups posted mixed results in October. The index for consumer goods moved up 0.2 percent, as increases for non-energy nondurables and for energy products were partly offset by a decline in consumer durables that was concentrated in automotive products. The indexes for business equipment and for defense and space equipment each advanced nearly 1 percent; both indexes have posted five consecutive months of gains.
Among nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies rose about 1/2 percent in October, while the index for business supplies fell a similar amount. The output of industrial materials edged down, as gains for both durables and nondurables were outweighed by a decline for energy materials.
Manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent in October despite a sizable drop in motor vehicle assemblies; manufacturing production excluding motor vehicles and parts increased 0.5 percent. The output of durables advanced 0.5 percent, as the indexes for most of its component industries other than motor vehicles strengthened. Nondurables posted a gain of 0.2 percent, with mixed results among its industries. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) fell 1.5 percent.
Mining output declined 0.3 percent in October. After reaching an all-time high in August, primarily as a result of gains in the oil and gas sector, production slipped slightly over the past two months; the index in October was about 24 percent above its trough in 2016. The index for utilities moved down 0.5 percent in October, as a decrease for electric utilities was partially offset by a large increase for natural gas utilities.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing edged up in October to 76.2 percent—with gains for durables and nondurables and a loss for other manufacturing (publishing and logging)—but it was still 2.1 percentage points below its long-run average. The utilization rate for mining fell to 92.7 percent but remained well above its long-run average of 87.0 percent. The operating rate for utilities moved down to 77.3 percent, a rate that is 8.0 percentage points below its long-run average.
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