Tag: industrial production

Manufacturing Production Was Unchanged for the Second Straight Month in June

Manufacturing production was unchanged in both May and June, suggesting that output in the sector remains sluggish. On the positive side, the May figure was revised higher, as it was originally estimated to be a decline of 0.2 percent. Yet, it is clear that manufacturers continue to grapple with a number of economic headwinds, including a stronger U.S. dollar, lower crude oil prices and weaknesses abroad. The year-over-year pace reflects this softness, shifting from a more-robust pace of 4.5 percent in November to just 1.8 percent today. Capacity utilization for manufacturers has also eased over that time frame, down from 78.1 percent in November to 77.2 percent in June.   (continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Production Fell Back Again in May into Negative Territory

Manufacturing production decreased by 0.2 percent in May, falling back again after very modest increased in both March and April. Overall, these data confirm that manufacturing activity has been weak since November, with contractions in four of the past six months. The year-over-year pace reflects this deceleration, shifting from a more-robust pace of 4.5 percent in November to 1.8 percent today. Capacity utilization has also declined for five consecutive months, down from 79.6 percent in December to 78.1 percent in May.

Overall, these figures mirror other data illustrating how a number of economic headwinds have challenged the manufacturing sector in the early months of 2015. The most recent NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Index, for instance, has dropped from 61.7 in December to 51.7 in June, a significant decline in sentiment in such a short period of time. In addition, estimates of growth for sales, capital spending and employment have also decelerated sharply, even as they continue to reflect modest growth moving forward. On the other hand, exports are expected to grow more sluggishly, with a stronger U.S. dollar and slowing economies abroad dampening demand. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – June 15, 2015

Here are the files for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

Manufacturers and other businesses came into this year with a lot of optimism, particularly given robust growth in the second half of last year. Instead, economic growth has been disappointing year-to-date. A number of significant headwinds have challenged the sector, including a stronger dollar, lower crude oil prices, the residual effects of the West Coast ports slowdown and cautiousness in consumer spending. Much of this can be seen in recent GDP and production figures, which have reflected recent declines in activity, particularly in the first quarter. (continue reading…)

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Business Economists Downgrade Their Growth Estimates for 2015

The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) said that panelists in its Outlook Survey downgraded their estimates for growth in 2015. Business economists now expect real GDP growth of 2.4 percent this year, down from 3.1 percent in the March survey. This reflects recent headwinds in the U.S. economy, with 80 percent and 72 percent suggesting that a stronger U.S. dollar and slower growth in China, respectively, were having a negative impact on U.S. economic growth. To illustrate this point, the estimates for export growth have declined from 5.4 percent in December to 2.1 percent in the current report.  (continue reading…)

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Industrial Production Unchanged in April

Manufacturing production was unchanged in April, slowing from the 0.3 percent gain experienced in March. Overall, output in the sector has been very soft for five straight months. Manufacturers have struggled with a number of significant headwinds in the U.S. and global economies, including challenges in growing exports, residual impacts from the West Coast ports slowdown, regional weather challenges and an anxious consumer. As a result, the year-over-year pace has slowed from 4.5 percent in November to 2.3 percent in April.  Similarly, capacity utilization in manufacturing has dropped from 79.8 percent five months ago to 78.2 percent today.

Durable goods production increased 0.1 percent in April, with output for nondurable goods firms off 0.1 percent. There were strong increases for manufacturing production for nonmetallic mineral products (up 1.4 percent), electrical equipment and appliances (up 1.3 percent), motor vehicles and parts (up 1.3 percent) and wood products (up 1.3 percent). However, these were offset by declining output in the machinery (down 0.9 percent), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (down 0.6 percent), and food, beverage and tobacco products (down 0.6 percent) sectors, among others. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – April 20, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report:

Manufacturing production increased 0.1 percent in March. This followed three months of weaker data, including declines in both January and February. There have been some significant headwinds hitting the manufacturing sector over the past few months, including a strong U.S. dollar, weakened economic markets abroad, lower crude oil prices, the West Coast ports slowdown and weather. These challenges have slowed activity in the sector since November. The latest Beige Book discussed these headwinds. The year-over-year pace of manufacturing production in March was 2.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent in November. Meanwhile, total industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, fell 0.6 percent in March, declining for the third time in the past four months. As such, the data suggest manufacturers have started the new year on a very soft note despite optimism for better demand and output moving forward. (continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Production Edged Marginally Higher in March

Manufacturing production increased 0.1 percent in March, according to the Federal Reserve Board. This followed three months of weaker data, including declines in both January and February. There have been some significant headwinds hitting the manufacturing sector over the past few months, including a strong U.S. dollar, weakened economic markets abroad, lower crude oil prices, the West Coast ports slowdown and weather. It is clear that these challenges have slowed activity in the sector since November. The year-over-year pace of manufacturing production in March was 2.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent in November. In addition, manufacturing capacity utilization was unchanged at 77.1 percent, down from 78.1 percent in November. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – March 23, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

The U.S. economy has sputtered a bit in the early months of 2015. While it continues to grow modestly, several economic indicators are weaker than we would prefer. For example, manufacturing production decreased by 0.2 percent in February, declining for the third straight month. Many headwinds have combined to bring about this softness in the manufacturing sector, including global economic weakness, a strong U.S. dollar, the West Coast ports slowdown, a cautious consumer and the weather in some parts of the country. (continue reading…)

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Leading Economic Indicators Reflect Modest Growth in February

The Conference Board said that the Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose 0.2 percent in February, the same pace as observed in January. However, this was slower than the stronger rate of growth experienced just four months ago, when the LEI increased by 0.6 percent in October. Weaknesses abroad, a stronger U.S. dollar, weather and factors have been headwinds on the U.S. economy, which continues to expand modestly but at a slower rate. This can be seen in the latest industrial production, housing starts and retail sales figures, for instance. Specific to the LEI, new orders have decelerated, providing a bit of a drag on the headline number. Other challenges included the average workweek and initial unemployment claims.    (continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Production Declined for the Third Straight Month in February

Manufacturing production decreased by 0.2 percent in February, according to the Federal Reserve Board. This followed declines in both December and January, down 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Each of the prior two month’s data points were revised lower, with January’s manufacturing production figure originally estimated as an increase of 0.2 percent. A number of headwinds have combined to bring about this softness in the manufacturing sector, including global economic weakness, a strong U.S. dollar, the West Coast ports slowdown, a cautious consumer and the weather in some parts of the country.

As a result, capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector fell for the third straight month, down from 78.1 percent in November to 77.3 percent in February. (continue reading…)

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