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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Rebounds Following Hurricanes
by Tom Moeller  October 17, 2017

The Federal Reserve indicated that industrial production recovered 0.3% (1.6% y/y) during September following a 0.7% August decline, last month estimated as -0.9%. The Fed indicated that storm damage reduced September's increase in production by one-quarter of a percentage point. Last month's increase matched expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Factory output edged 0.1% higher (1.0% y/y) following a 0.2% decline, initially estimated as -0.3%.

Production of consumer products increased 0.5% (0.2% y/y) and reversed August's decline. Motor vehicle & parts production improved 0.1% (-3.2% y/y), after a 3.6% jump. Computers, audio & video product production gained 1.9% (5.5% y/y), after a 2.4% increase. Appliance, furniture & carpeting production rose 1.4% (0.5% y/y), after two months of 1.4% decrease. Clothing output fell 1.0% (-9.4% y/y), the seventh monthly decrease this year. Chemical production partially offset these declines with a 0.8% rise (1.5% y/y), the fifth consecutive monthly gain. Business equipment production strengthened 0.8% (2.1%, following four straight months of decline. The increase was led by a 2.1% (4.0% y/y) in industrial equipment output, the first rise in five months. Materials production eased 0.2% (2.2% y/y) following a 0.8% drop. Production of energy materials recovered 0.8% (4.7% y/y), following a 1.1% decline.

In the special aggregate groupings, selected high-technology product production jumped 1.7% (2.3% y/y) after a 0.4% rise. Semiconductor & related product output jumped 2.8% while computer & peripheral production gained 0.2%. Factory sector production, excluding the auto & high-tech sectors, inched 0.1% higher (1.3% y/y) following a 0.6% decline.

Capacity utilization rose to 76.0% from 75.8%, but remained down versus the 76.6% June high. Factory sector utilization held steady at 75.1%, but also remained lower than the 76.0% April high. Total factory sector capacity rose 0.7% y/y.

Industrial production and capacity data are included in Haver's USECON database, with additional detail in the IP database. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total Output 0.3 -0.7 -0.1 1.6 -1.2 -0.7 3.1
Manufacturing 0.1 -0.2 -0.4 1.0 -0.0 0.1 1.2
    Consumer Goods 0.5 -0.6 0.0 0.2 0.6 2.3 0.8
    Business Equipment 0.8 -0.3 -1.2 2.1 -1.8 -0.9 1.9
    Construction Supplies 1.9 -1.0 -0.1 3.4 1.3 0.5 3.4
  Materials -0.2 -0.8 0.0 2.2 -2.3 -1.4 5.1
Utilities 1.5 -4.9 0.5 -4.0 -0.3 -0.7 1.4
Mining 0.4 -0.2 0.5 9.8 -9.1 -4.3 10.7
Capacity Utilization (%) 76.0 75.8 76.5 75.6 75.7 76.8 78.6
 Manufacturing 75.1 75.1 75.3 74.9 75.1 75.5 75.4
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