Friday, January 16, 2015

Industrial Production Falls Slightly in December

Industrial production decreased 0.1% in December, reflecting a sharp drop in the output of utilities as warmer-than-usual temperatures reduced demand for heating. At 106.5 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production was 4.9% above its level of a year earlier.

For the fourth quarter of 2014 as a whole, industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 5.6%, with widespread gains across major market and industry groups.

The capacity utilization rate for the industrial sector decreased 0.3 percentage point in December to 79.7%, a rate that is 0.4 percentage point below its long-run (1972-2013) average.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3% for its fourth consecutive monthly increase to an annual rate of 5.2% in the fourth quarter. The capacity rate for manufacturing remained steady with the previous month at 78.4%.

Mining output jumped 2.2% after falling for the previous two month, reflecting increases in oil and gas extraction, but a drop in drilling and well-servicing activity at oil and gas fields tempered the gains. The utilization rate for mines climbed 1.2 percentage points to 88.8%.

Utilities production drastically fell 7.3%, due to warmer-than-usual temperatures in certain areas of the country. The utilization rate for utilities fell 6.1 percentage points to 76.6%.

Among the major market groups, both consumer goods and business supplies posted decreases of around 1% in December as a result of a drop in sales by electric and gas utilities; all of the other major market groups recorded gains.

Read the Federal Reserve release.

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