A newly released report from the U.S. Federal Reserve showed industrial production increased 0.2 percent in September after having been unchanged in August. Previously, industrial production was reported to have stepped up 0.2 percent in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 5.1 percent.
Among the highlights:
The output of durable goods manufacturing increased 0.6 percent in September and was 7.9 percent above its year-earlier level. Output gains of more than 2 percent were recorded in wood products and in aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, while output gains of at least 1 percent were recorded for computer and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and miscellaneous manufacturing. However, production declined among four major components of durables: nonmetallic mineral products, primary metals, fabricated metal products, and furniture and related products.
The production index for nondurable manufacturing moved up 0.2 percent in September. Among the major components of nondurables, paper posted the largest increase in September, and production rose slightly for food, beverage, and tobacco products; chemicals; and plastics and rubber products.
Mining production increased 0.8 percent in September, with widespread gains seen among mined energy components. Capacity utilization in mining rose to 91.3 percent, a rate 3.9 percentage points above its long-run average. The output of utilities moved down 1.8 percent as temperatures in September moderated following an unseasonably hot August. The operating rate for utilities declined to 77.6 percent, a rate 9.0 percentage points below its long-run average.
The production of business equipment rose 1.0 percent in September, its third consecutive gain of 1 percent or more, and was 10.3 percent above its year-earlier level. For the third quarter, the output of business equipment rose at an annual rate of 12.6 percent. The output of transit equipment jumped 31.8 percent, the largest increase among the major components of business equipment for the quarter. The principal contributors to the gain were civilian aircraft and trucks.
The production of defense and space equipment increased 1.2 percent in September after a similarly sized gain in August.
The index for construction supplies rose 0.2 percent in September for its fifth consecutive monthly increase. The production of business supplies moved down 0.2 percent in September after having declined 0.4 percent in August, but in the third quarter overall, output rose at an annual rate of 2.4 percent.
The complete industrial production report for September is available from the U.S. Federal Reserve.