Manufacturing ended 2010 on another positive note, with production rising a solid 0.4 percent in December. Today’s report by the Federal Reserve showed that 10 of the 19 major manufacturing industries gained ground last month. For the year overall, manufacturing production rose a solid 6.4 percent, the strongest gain since 1997.
Still, much of this growth took place early in the year and was boosted by temporary factors such as inventory rebuilding and several fiscal stimulus programs. During the first half of the year, production increased at an annual rate of 8.5 percent. During the second half of the year the pace of production was nearly cut in half, increasing at an annual rate of 4.3 percent.
After falling by 17.5 percent from the end of 2007 to mid-2009, the manufacturing recovery has made up slightly more than half (56 percent) of the production loss that took place during the recession.