On the back of higher electricity and gas consumption amid a cold snap, industrial production rose 0.6% in December, the Federal Reserve said on Jan. 15.
The December reading matched the 0.6% increase in November, which was initially reported at 0.8%.
"Manufacturing production fell a modest 0.1% in December after posting strong 0.9% growth in November. Raw material industries continued to lead the gains as the beneficial impact of less inventory destocking boosted growth in these industries," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "For the most part, manufacturing production is starting to exhibit a saw tooth pattern of strong growth followed the next month by a small decline because the pace of growth is decelerating.
"The initial burst of growth reflected the rebound from a severe recession, but now, the basic fact is that consumers are impaired with debt, jobs are still declining, and nonresidential construction activity will decline most of the year," he added. "Fourth quarter manufacturing production increased at a 5.7% annual rate versus the third quarter. Unfortunately, a strong pace of manufacturing production growth cannot be maintained in a relatively weak economic recovery."
For the final quarter as a whole, industrial production increased at an annual rate of 7%.