February industrial production data are out.
Industrial production rose 0.7 percent in February after a revised flat reading in January.
Economists predicted a smaller 0.4 percent advance.
Manufacturing production rose 0.8 percent after contracting a revised 0.3 percent last month.
Economists expected 0.5 percent manufacturing production growth.
Below are details from the release:
Industrial production increased 0.7 percent in February after having been unchanged in January. Manufacturing output rose 0.8 percent in February, and the index revised up for the previous two months. In February, the output of utilities advanced 1.6 percent, as temperatures for the month were near their seasonal norms after two months of unseasonably warm weather. The production at mines declined 0.3 percent, its third consecutive monthly decrease. At 99.5 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in February was 2.5 percent above its level of a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry increased to 79.6 percent, a rate that is 0.6 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2012) average.
The production of consumer goods increased 0.7 percent in February following a gain of 0.2 percent in January. In February, the index for consumer durables advanced 1.7 percent. Among durable consumer goods categories, the indexes for automotive products, home electronics, and miscellaneous goods all increased 1.3 percent or more, while the index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting moved up 0.2 percent after having jumped 3.2 percent in January. The production of consumer nondurables rose 0.4 percent in February as a result of a gain of 1.4 percent for consumer energy products. The index for non-energy nondurables was unchanged, with increases in foods and tobacco and in paper products offset by decreases in clothing and in chemical products.
After having fallen 1.3 percent in January, the output of business equipment increased 2.5 percent in February; the index was up 6.6 percent over its year-earlier level. The gain in February reﬂected a jump of 4.7 percent in transit equipment, a rise of 2.2 percent in industrial and other equipment, and an increase of 0.3 percent in information processing equipment. Each of these indexes had moved down in January.
The production of defense and space equipment decreased 0.6 percent in February following an increase of 1.8 percent in January. In February, the index was up 1.2 percent over its year-earlier level.
Among nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies increased 1.5 percent in February for its fourth consecutive monthly gain exceeding 1 percent. The production of business supplies rose 0.8 percent in February after having risen 0.6 percent in January. The production of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector moved up 0.3 percent in February. The output of durable materials rose 0.3 percent; an increase of 1.5 percent in equipment parts was partly offset by a decrease of 1.0 percent in consumer parts. The index for nondurable materials moved up 0.5 percent, primarily as a result of a gain of 1.0 percent for chemical materials. The index for energy materials edged up 0.2 percent; a reduction in the extraction of oil and natural gas held down the increase.
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