A newly released report from the Federal Reserve showed U.S. industrial production rose 0.4 percent in August, after remaining largely unchained the previous month.
Following are some highlights from the report:
The production of consumer goods increased 0.3 percent in August after decreasing 0.5 percent in July. As a result of a rebound in automotive products, the production of durable consumer goods rose 2.5 percent to reverse a similarly sized decline in July. The indices for appliances, furniture, and carpeting and for home electronics also posted gains in August, while the output of miscellaneous goods was unchanged for a second month in a row.
The index for consumer nondurables declined 0.3 percent in August, its fifth consecutive month without an increase. The output of non-energy nondurables was unchanged; gains for foods and tobacco and for clothing offset losses for chemical products and for paper products. After having moved up 1.7 percent in July, the output of consumer energy products moved down 1.5 percent in August, with decreases for both fuels and utilities.
After a decrease of 0.9 percent in July, the index for business equipment reversed that loss with an increase of 0.9 percent in August. The index for transit equipment moved up 3.6 percent, the production of information processing equipment rose 1.2 percent, and the index for industrial and other equipment edged down 0.2 percent.
The output of defense and space equipment rose 1 percent in August following a decline of 0.1 percent in July. The index for August stood 0.8 percent above its year-earlier level.
In August, the output of construction supplies advanced 0.3 percent, its third consecutive monthly increase. The production of business supplies was unchanged in August and little changed from its year-earlier level.
The production of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector increased 0.4 percent in August and was 3.4 percent above its year-earlier level. The output of durable materials rose 1.0 percent in August, with the production of consumer parts advancing 2.5 percent after two consecutive monthly declines. Meanwhile, the output of equipment parts rose 1.7 percent, and the production of nondurable materials moved up 0.7 percent; textile, paper, and chemical materials each registered gains of 0.6 percent or more. Lastly, the output of energy materials decreased 0.3 percent.
Manufacturing output rose 0.7 percent in August after having decreased 0.4 percent in July. The output of durable goods jumped 1.2 percent in August after declining 0.6 percent in July. In August, the production of motor vehicles and parts rebounded 5.2 percent after falling a downwardly revised 4.5 percent in July.
In August, the indices for wood products; computer and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment; and furniture and related products all posted increases in the range from 1 percent to 1.7 percent. Nonmetallic mineral products, fabricated metal products, and machinery each recorded smaller gains.
The production of primary metals decreased 0.3 percent after a large increase in July, and the output of miscellaneous manufacturing moved down 0.8 percent in August, its second consecutive monthly decline. Capacity utilization for durable goods manufacturing increased 0.7 percentage point to 76.2 percent, a rate 0.8 percentage point below its long-run average.
The production of nondurable goods edged up 0.1 percent in August and was 1.5 percent above its level of a year earlier. Among the major components of nondurables, the indices for apparel and leather and for paper both advanced by more than 1 percent, while smaller gains were recorded for food, beverage and tobacco products; textile and product mills; and printing and support. Petroleum and coal products, chemicals, and plastics and rubber products all posted declines.
Mining output increased 0.3 percent in August and stood 7.5 percent above its year-earlier level. The production of electric and gas utilities fell 1.5 percent, and the operating rate for the sector declined 1.1 percentage points to 74.7 percent, a rate 11.5 percentage points below its long-run average.