U.S. Industrial Production Drops in January

However the manufacturing sector increased output 0.3%

After having risen 1.2% in December, industrial production decreased 0.1% in January 2011, the Federal Reserve reported on Feb. 16.

In the manufacturing sector, output increased 0.3% in January after an upwardly revised gain of 0.9% in December.

Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory production rose 0.1% in January.

The output of durable goods moved up 0.6% in January. A large gain was recorded in the index for motor vehicles and parts; smaller increases were recorded for many other industries, including fabricated metal products, machinery, computer and electronic products, aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, furniture and related products, and miscellaneous manufacturing. Output decreased for wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; primary metals; and electrical equipment, appliances, and components.

Nondurable manufacturing declined 0.1% in January after having advanced 1% in December. The decline in production in January reflected decreases for food, beverage, and tobacco products; textile and product mills; printing and support products; and petroleum and coal products.

"Despite a small decline in overall industrial production, solid growth in the manufacturing sector continues to lead the recovery," said Thomas Duesterberg, CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "The Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI expects the 12 month gains seen in manufacturing, at 5.5%, to be matched in the current year. Exports and business investment in areas like machinery and information technology, along with growing consumer demand for consumer durables like automobiles, are leading the sector higher. If relative weakness in the aerospace sector and in construction materials and supplies for the U. S. market were to turn around, we could see even stronger growth in 2011 and 2012."

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