Autos Put Brake On Manufacturing Output

A 2.8% decrease in the production of autos and auto parts held December 2005's increase in U.S. manufacturing output to just two-tenths of a percentage point, the Federal Reserve Board reported on Jan. 17. December's gain was half the four-tenths percent recorded in November and more than a full percentage point below October's 1.8% increase. For the twelve months from December 2004 through December 2005, U.S. manufacturing output increased 3.8%.

U.S. factories ran at 79.6% of capacity in December 2005, unchanged from November. But for the full year 2005, capacity utilization increased 2.1%.

For December 2005, overall U.S. industrial production, which in addition to manufacturing includes mining and utilities, gained six-tenths of a percentage point, following increases of eight-tenths percent in November and a full percentage point in October. For full year 2005 industrial production was up 2.8%. Industrial capacity utilization was 80.7% in December, four-tenths of a percentage point higher than November's 80.3%. For all of 2005, U.S. industrial capacity utilization rose 1.7 percentage points.

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