A newly released report from the Federal Reserve showed industrial production declined 0.4 percent in October, after rising 0.2 percent in September. The largest estimated storm-related effects included reductions in the output of utilities, chemicals, food, transportation equipment, and computers/electronic products.
Following are some highlights from the report:
The production of consumer goods declined 0.9 percent in October. Among durable consumer goods categories, the index for automotive products rose after having declined in each of the previous three months; the production of home electronics moved up; the output of appliances, furniture, and carpeting was unchanged; and the index for miscellaneous goods decreased. Among non-energy nondurables, there were losses in the indices for food products and tobacco, clothing, and paper products. Despite storm-related outages, the index for chemical products edged up. The output of consumer energy products stepped down 0.7 percent, partly reflecting a decline in residential utilities.
The output of business equipment moved down 1.2 percent in October. The production of transit equipment decreased 1.2 percent, nearly offsetting its gain in September. The indices for information processing equipment and for industrial and other equipment each fell slightly more than 1 percent in October, but both indexes were about 5 percent above their year-earlier levels.
The output of defense and space equipment declined 0.8 percent in October after a solid advance in September.
Among nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies decreased 0.5 percent in October after having moved up in September, and the production of business supplies declined 0.7 percent in October. Finally, the output of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector rose 0.1 percent in October.
Manufacturing output declined 0.9 percent in October. Excluding the estimated effects of Hurricane Sandy, manufacturing output was little changed from its September level. Declines were widespread across both durable and nondurable goods industries, with the factory operating rate slipping to 75.9 percent in October.
The production of durable goods decreased 0.6 percent in October, with losses of more than 1 percent recorded in the indices for machinery and for electrical equipment, appliances, and components. The output of wood products edged up, but production declined in all other major categories of durables. Capacity utilization for durable goods manufacturing was 75.8 percent, a rate 1.3 percentage points below its long-run average.
Mining output advanced 1.5 percent in October after having gained 0.9 percent in September. Capacity utilization for mining moved up 1.1 percentage points in October to 90.4 percent, a rate 3.1 percentage points above its long-run average.
The complete November U.S. industrial production report is available online.