News from the US Federal Reserve. Manufacturing remains a positive for the US economy.
Industrial production increased 1.3 percent in November after edging up in October; output is now reported to have risen at a faster pace over the period from June through October than previously published. In November, manufacturing output increased 1.1 percent, with widespread gains among industries. The rise in factory output was well above its average monthly pace of 0.3 percent over the previous five months and was its largest gain since February. In November, the output of utilities jumped 5.1 percent, as weather that was colder than usual for the month boosted demand for heating. The index for mining decreased 0.1 percent. At 106.7 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in November was 5.2 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.8 percentage point in November to 80.1 percent, a rate equal to its long-run (1972–2013) average.
In November, the indexes for all of the major market groups advanced. The gain of 2.5 percent in consumer goods was its largest since August 1998. The production of all major durable and nondurable categories of consumer goods rose, with the largest increases registered by consumer energy products and automotive products. The output of business equipment moved up 1.2 percent because of sizable gains for transit equipment and for industrial and other equipment. The index for business supplies rose 1.2 percent, its second strong increase in the past three months. The production of materials advanced 0.8 percent, with substantial gains in the indexes for all of its major categories.
Manufacturing output rose 1.1 percent in November, and the rates of change for prior months are stronger than reported previously. Factory output is now estimated to have been above its late-2007 pre-recession peak in both October and November. In November, the indexes for both durables and nondurables increased more than 1 percent, and the output of every major industry group increased or remained unchanged. Among durable goods industries, the output of motor vehicles and parts jumped 5.1 percent as a result of an increase of 900,000 units at an annual rate in total motor vehicle assemblies. Miscellaneous manufacturing, wood products, and machinery each recorded gains exceeding 1 percent. Among nondurable goods industries, output advances of more than 2 percent were registered by petroleum and coal products and by apparel and leather. The indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products and for plastics and rubber products both increased 1.4 percent.
The capacity utilization rate for manufacturing moved up 0.8 percentage point in November to 78.4 percent, a rate 0.3 percentage point below its long-run average. The operating rates for nondurable goods and durables goods increased, and the rate for other manufacturing (non-NAICS) remained unchanged. The utilization rate for mines fell 0.8 percentage point to 87.9 percent, while the rate for utilities increased 3.9 percentage points to 82.4 percent.