Industrial production was unchanged in October after having fallen 0.2% in September, according the Federal Reserve.
For the manufacturing sector, output gained 0.5% in October after having risen 0.1% in September. Factory production in September was initially reported to have decreased 0.2%, but incoming data on steel, fabricated metal products, machinery, and chemicals helped boost the index.
"Unseasonably warm weather led to a very sharp decline in electric and gas utility production that offset strong manufacturing activity," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "The October report shows that the manufacturing recovery is on a solid footing and continues to grow faster than the economy as a whole. There was widespread gains made in manufacturing as 15 of the 20 major manufacturing industries posted growth in October.
"The material shortages earlier this year led to a surge in imports and diminished the ability to export," he added. "Now that material availability is less of a concern, exports are playing a more important role in industrial demand. In addition, long postponed replacement of consumer durables and business equipment has created pent up demand that is driving above average growth in factory production."
At 93.4 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in October was 5.3% above its year-earlier level.
The capacity utilization rate for total industry was flat at 74.8%, a rate 6.6 percentage points above the low in June 2009 and 5.8 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.