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US Manufacturing Output Up 1.1% in November

Manufacturing output rose 1.1% in November, and the rates of change for prior months are stronger than reported previously, the Federal Reserve reported on December 15.

Factory output is now estimated to have been above its late-2007 pre-recession peak in both October and November.

In November, the indexes for both durables and nondurables increased more than 1%, and the output of every major industry group increased or remained unchanged.

Among durable goods industries, the output of motor vehicles and parts jumped 5.1% as a result of an increase of 900,000 units at an annual rate in total motor vehicle assemblies.

Machinery, wood products, and miscellaneous manufacturing each recorded gains exceeding 1%.

Among nondurable goods industries, output advances of more than % were registered by petroleum and coal products and by apparel and leather. The indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products and for plastics and rubber products both increased 1.4%.

Industrial production increased 1.3% in November after edging up in October; output is now reported to have risen at a faster pace over the period from June through October than previously published.

Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.8 percentage point in November to 80.1%, a rate equal to its long-run (1972–2013) average.

“The increase is consistent with the most recent BLS jobs report showing that manufacturing employment in November rose by 28,000 jobs, the largest monthly increase since November 2013,” noted Don Norman, director of economic studies for the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.  

“This month’s report is obviously positive news for the manufacturing sector,” Noman added. “Whether the momentum can be sustained is an open question given the dramatic fall in the price of oil. Manufacturers benefit from lower petroleum product prices, but the lower price of oil could also result in reduced development of oil production and thus capital spending on manufactured products required for development.”

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