Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Industrial Production Posts First Quarterly Decline Since 2009

Industrial production decreased 0.6% in March after a 0.1% increase in February. For the first quarter of 2015, industrial production declined at an annual rate of 1.0%, the first quarterly decline since 2009. From March 2014, the index increased 2.0%. Oil and drilling servicing was a large contributor to the quarterly decline, dropping at an annual rate of more than 60%.

Output of utilities fell by 5.9%, after gaining 5.7% in February due to unseasonably cold temperatures. Mining output decreased by 0.7%, the smallest decline since November.

Manufacturing output increased in March by 0.1%, but fell at an annual rate of 1.2% for the quarter. In March durable goods production was up 0.2% due to strong demand for auto parts, while primary metals declined by 3.2%. The energy index declined 2.2% primarily due to a 17.7% decline in the index for oil and gas well drilling.

Business equipment posted a gain in production for the month, increasing by 0.2% due to an increase in output for transit equipment. Consumer goods declined by 0.6% mostly due to a 5% decline in consumer energy products. Output of durable consumer goods increased by 1.7% largely due to a 3.0% gain in automotive products.

Read the Federal Reserve release

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