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Manufacturing & The Economy

Industrial Production Unexpectedly Fell on Weak Manufacturing

Industrial production edged down 0.1% in January after having risen 0.4% in December. In January, manufacturing output decreased 0.4% following upwardly revised gains of 1.1% in December and 1.7% in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, manufacturing production is now estimated to have advanced 1.9% at an annual rate; previously, the increase was reported to have been 0.2%. In January, the output of utilities rose 3.5%, as demand for heating was boosted by temperatures that fell closer to their seasonal norms; the production at mines declined 1.0%. At 98.6% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in January was 2.1% above its level of a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry decreased in January to 79.1%, a rate that is 1.1% below its long-run (1972--2012) average.

Manufacturing output decreased 0.4% in January after having risen 1.1% in December; the level of output in January was 1.7% above its year-earlier level but was 5.3% below its pre-recession peak in December 2007. Capacity utilization for manufacturing moved down 0.4% in January to 77.6%, a rate 1.2% below its long-run average.

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