A Look at February Factory Output

March 20, 2014
While the February US Total Manufacturing Index bounced back nicely from a disappointing January, a slower rate of rise is likely in the latter half of 2014 based on our outlook for global growth later this year.

The February US Total Manufacturing Index (not seasonally adjusted) bounced back nicely from a disappointing January.  The January decline was the steepest since 2007, and the February rebound was the best since 2005.  A way to smooth out the sharp monthly movements is to look at the three-month moving average (3MMA).  The 3MMA has been experiencing an average seasonal decline off an October 2013 high.  The annual moving average (12MMA) has risen to the highest level in just over five years.

Our analysis portends ongoing rise in the manufacturing index in 2014, but don’t read too much into the strong February number.  A slower rate of rise is likely in the latter half of 2014 based on the input from the rates-of-change and our outlook for global growth later this year.

Manufacturing job growth is expected to increase.  Manufacturing Job Openings for the latest three months is 16.1% above the year-ago quarter, and the rates-of-change are improving.  Expect upward pressure on wages as skilled labor becomes even harder to find. 

About the Author

Alan Beaulieu Blog | President

One of the country’s most informed economists, Alan Beaulieu is a principal of the ITR Economics where he serves as President. ITR predicts future economic trends with 94.7% accuracy rate and 60 years of correct calls. In his keynotes, Alan delivers clear, comprehensive action plans and tools for capitalizing on business cycle fluctuations and outperforming your competition--whether the economy is moving up, down, or in a recession.

Since 1990, he has been consulting with companies throughout the US, Europe, and Asia on how to forecast, plan, and increase their profits based on business cycle trend analysis. Alan is also the Senior Economic Advisor to NAW, Contributing Editor for INDUSTRYWEEK, and the Chief Economist for HARDI.

Alan is co-author, along with his brother Brian, of the book MAKE YOUR MOVE, and has written numerous articles on economic analysis. He makes up to 150 appearances each year, and his keynotes and seminars have helped thousands of business owners and executives capitalize on emerging trends. 

Prior to joining ITR Economics, Alan was a principal in a steel fabrication company and also in a software development company.

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