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industrial production Archives - Shopfloor

Manufacturing Production Pulled Back in March, Ending Six Straight Monthly Gains

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The Federal Reserve reported that manufacturing production pulled back in March, ending six straight monthly gains. Output in the sector declined 0.4 percent, pulled lower by a sharp reduction in motor vehicles and parts production, down 3.0 percent, among others. Yet, even with the reduced figures in March, the data continue to reflect improvements in the manufacturing sector, with activity turning a corner after struggling for much of the past two years due to a number of economic headwinds. Indeed, manufacturing production has increased 0.8 percent over the past 12 months, down from 1.0 percent in the prior release but with progress from declining year-over-year rates as recently as October. Similarly, manufacturing capacity utilization decreased from 75.6 percent—a 13-month high—to 75.3 percent. In general, the utilization rate has trended higher since bottoming out at 74.7 percent in August. Read More

Manufacturing Production Expanded for the Sixth Straight Month, Continuing to Show Signs of Progress

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The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production expanded for the sixth consecutive month. Output in the sector was up 0.5 percent in February, mirroring the gain seen in January. These data continue to reflect an improving manufacturing sector, with activity turning a corner after struggling for much of the past two years from a number of economic headwinds. Indeed, manufacturing production has increased 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, up from 0.6 percent in the prior report. To put the recent progress in perspective, the year-over-year rate was -0.5 percent just six months ago. The year-over-year number was also the fastest pace since April 2015. Similarly, manufacturing capacity utilization rose from 75.3 percent to 75.6 percent, a 16-month high. Read More

Manufacturing Production Expanded for the Fourth Consecutive Month

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The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production expanded for the fourth consecutive month. (To be fair, November’s increase was essentially stagnant, up 0.03 percent.) Output in the sector was up 0.2 percent in January, extending the 0.2 percent gain seen in December. The recent improvements suggest that manufacturers are beginning to recover from notable weaknesses over the past two years, with a strong dollar and global headwinds dampening overall activity. In that regard, manufacturing production grew just 0.3 percent year-over-year in January, highlighting the significant challenges seen over the past 12 months in growing production. Similarly, manufacturing capacity utilization edged up from 75.0 percent to 75.1 percent, which, despite some progress, continued to be below the 75.5 percent utilization rate observed one year ago. Read More

Manufacturing Production Rebounded in December

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The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production rebounded in December after pulling lower in November, with output in the sector up 0.2 percent in the latest report. Manufacturers have struggled to increase demand over the past couple years, with a strong dollar and global headwinds dampening overall activity, but recent data have started to reflect a turnaround in sentiment. In that regard, manufacturing production grew 0.2 percent year-over-year in December, its first positive reading since June but still indicating essentially stagnant growth over the past 12 months. Similarly, manufacturing capacity utilization edged up from 74.7 percent to 74.8 percent, which, despite some progress, continued to be below the 75.2 percent utilization rate observed one year ago. Read More

Manufacturing Production Edged Down Slightly in November Following Two Months of Gains

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The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production edged down slightly in November, off 0.1 percent, after experiencing gains in both September and October. Manufacturers have struggled to increase demand over the past couple years, with a strong dollar and global headwinds dampening overall activity, but recent sentiment surveys – including the most recent one from the NAM – have reflected a rebound in activity. In that light, the latest production data serve as a disappointment, continuing to highlight ongoing struggles for the sector, even as other segments have seen progress. Along those lines, manufacturing production has risen just 0.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, suggesting essentially stagnant growth over the past 12 months. Manufacturing capacity utilization was also lower for the month, down from 74.9 percent to 74.8 percent. That was off from the 75.3 percent rate observed one year ago.   Read More

Manufacturing Production Expanded Modestly in October for the Second Straight Month

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The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production expanded modestly for the second straight month. Output in the sector was up 0.2 percent in October, which was the same as seen in September and consistent with consensus expectations. Despite the increase, manufacturers continue to grow at a much slower pace than desired. Along those lines, manufacturing production was down 0.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Manufacturers have struggled to increase demand over the past couple years, with a strong dollar and global headwinds dampening overall activity. Indeed, manufacturing capacity utilization inched up from 74.8 percent to 74.9 percent, but that remained well below the 75.6 percent utilization rate seen one year ago. Read More

Manufacturing Production Rebounded Slightly in September, but Flat Year-Over-Year

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The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production rebounded slightly in September, up 0.2 percent, after declining by 0.5 percent in August. The pickup in activity was expected, but even with a gain for the month, it should be noted that activity in the sector continues to be weaker than desired. Along those lines, manufacturing production was flat on a year-over-year basis, with essentially stagnant growth over the course of the past seven months. Manufacturers have struggled in their ability to increase demand, including exports, with ongoing economic and political uncertainties also dampening growth. Moreover, manufacturing capacity utilization inched up from 74.8 percent to 74.9 percent, but that remained well below the 75.5 percent utilization rate seen one year ago. Read More

Manufacturing Production Rebounded in June after a Disappointing May Report

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Manufacturing production rebounded in June after a disappointing May report. Output in the sector rose by 0.4 percent in June, following a decline of 0.3 percent in May. Strong growth in the motor vehicles and parts segment, up 5.9 percent, helped to boost the headline number. Yet, despite some progress in June, it is safe to say that manufacturing activity remains quite challenged. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing production has risen by just 0.4 percent. That is an improvement from the year-year over year decline of 0.2 percent seen in May, but such sluggish growth was indicative of recent struggles that manufacturers have had in light of global headwinds. Capacity utilization increased from 74.8 percent to 75.1 percent, but that remained lower than the 75.3 percent utilization rate observed in June 2015. Read More

Manufacturing Production Growth Disappointed Again in May

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Overall, manufacturing production data for May were disappointing, much like the recent jobs numbers, which found the sector had lost 35,000 workers year-to-date. There are signs that better days might be coming, including promising figures for housing and retail sales and in recent sentiment surveys. Along those lines, the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing PMI has now expanded for three straight months. In addition, demand and shipments rebounded in June in the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Still, the manufacturing sector remains challenged by a strong U.S. dollar, sluggish growth abroad and still low commodity prices.

Today’s data underscores the need for better, pro-manufacturing policies that will allow manufacturers to compete in this tough global economy.  These policies include enacting comprehensive tax reform, smarter regulations and action on pending free trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership, all of which will help cultivate a more competitive environment for manufacturers in the United States. Read More

Manufacturing Production Growth Disappointed in March

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Much of the recent data regarding manufacturing output and demand has reflected improvements, with signs of possible stabilization in the market. This included better data in this morning’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey, mirroring other sentiment reports. That makes the latest data on manufacturing production even more disappointing. The consensus expectation had been for a slight gain of 0.1 percent in March for manufacturing output; instead, production in the sector declined by 0.3 percent. In addition, February’s data were revised lower, down from the prior estimate of an increase of 0.2 percent to a decline of 0.1 percent. (The Federal Reserve conducted a new annual revision to reflect seasonal adjustments, and all of the data were revised with this release.) The bottom line was that manufacturing production grew just 0.4 percent over the past 12 months in March, down from 0.8 percent in February. Manufacturing capacity utilization was also lower, down from 75.4 percent to 75.1 percent, its lowest level in nearly two years. Read More