Industryweek 32751 Manufacturing

US Industrial Output Up -- Small Hurricane Impact

Oct. 16, 2018
Motor vehicle production again helped drive the overall increase, with a 2.6% gain in the month, and is up more than 11% from a year earlier.

U.S. industries saw only a small hit from Hurricane Florence, which devastated parts of the mid-Atlantic region in September, and output rose at a steady pace, the government reported on Oct. 16.

Strong auto and petroleum production were again key drivers in the sector, according to the Federal Reserve.

Industrial production rose 0.3% last month compared to August, as the Fed said output growth was "held down slightly" by Florence, which shaved less than a tenth of a point off the increase.

Manufacturing posted a more modest 0.2% gain, while the mining sector, which includes the booming oil and gas industry, jumped 0.5% for its eighth consecutive increase, the report said.

The Fed said overall mining output had gained 24% since its low point in 2016, driven by oil and gas, even as drilling had declined in the last three months.

Meanwhile, utilities were flat after a big jump in August, the data showed.

Motor vehicle production again helped drive the overall increase, with a 2.6% gain in the month, and is up more than 11% from a year earlier.

Wood products and metals also rose, while the Fed said the only significant decline was in "nonmetallic mineral products."

Industrial production is up 5.1% in the year ended in September while manufacturing output has increased 3.5 % and mining surged 13.4%.

Installed capacity in use remained steady at 78.1%, which is 1.7 points below its long-run average, the report said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2108

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