Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Industrial Production Failed to Grow in January

Industrial production was unchanged in January as manufacturing growth, particularly in durable goods, could not offset large declines in mining and utility output. January represents the second month in the past three where industrial production has failed to grow. December’s growth was revised up significantly to 1.0% from 0.4%, its highest level since July, due primarily to manufacturing growth.

January’s lack of growth is not as bad as the headline figure indicates, as manufacturing continued to grow at a strong pace. Manufacturing rose 0.7% in January, driven by a 1.8% growth in durable goods. Business equipment also displayed notable growth, rising 1.8% over the month. Automobile production contributed heavily to the growth, growing 6.8% over the quarter.

Utilities and mining proved to be the largest drags on growth in January, with production falling 2.5% and 1.8% respectively. The decline in mining growth represents the first contraction in eight months. Utilities, on the other hand, have now fallen for five of the last six months.

Read the report.

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