Manufacturing & The Economy
Industrial production decreased 0.3% in January after having risen 0.3% in December. In January, manufacturing output fell 0.8%, partly because of the severe weather that curtailed production in some regions of the country. Additionally, manufacturing production is now reported to have been lower in the fourth quarter; the index is now estimated to have advanced at an annual rate of 4.6% in the fourth quarter rather than 6.2%. The output of utilities rose 4.1% in January, as demand for heating was boosted by unseasonably cold temperatures. The production at mines declined 0.9% following a gain of 1.8% in December. At 101.0% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in January was 2.9% above its level of a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry decreased in January to 78.5%, a rate that is 1.6% below its long-run (1972–2013) average.