A newly released report from the U.S. Federal Reserve showed U.S. industrial production edged slightly upward in June, rising 0.2 percent during the month. The slight increase follows a decrease in the May industrial production index.
Following are some highlights from the report:
Among the major categories in the durable goods classification, the largest increases were for primary metals and fabricated metal products, whereas the most significant decreases were for furniture and related products, motor vehicles and parts, and wood products. For the second quarter, durable manufacturing rose at an annual rate of 1.4 percent. Robust gains were recorded in aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, nonmetallic mineral products, and fabricated metal products. However, these gains were mostly offset by a large drop for motor vehicles and parts along with decreases for electrical equipment, appliances, and components and for wood products.
The index for nondurable manufacturing increased 0.1 percent in June; higher output of textile and product mills, petroleum and coal products, and chemicals slightly more than offset lower output in other nondurable categories.
The production index for utilities increased 0.9 percent; its operating rate rising to 79.5 percent. Mining output increased for the fourth consecutive month in June and rose at an annual rate of 6.7 percent for the second quarter, primarily as a result of gains in natural gas extraction.
Capacity utilization rates in June at industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 0.2 percentage point to 87.2 percent, a rate 0.8 percentage point above its long-run (1972--2010) average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization rose 0.4 percentage point to 74.1 percent, a rate 7.2 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization decreased 0.4 percentage point to 75.4 percent, a rate 1.9 percentage points below its long-run average. Capacity utilization in mining climbed to 88.9 percent in June, a rate 1.5 percentage points above its average from 1972 to 2010.
Production of consumer goods was unchanged, with a decline of 0.5 percent in durables offsetting an increase of 0.2 percent in nondurables. Among consumer durables, lower production of automotive products; appliances, furniture, and carpeting; and miscellaneous goods more than offset a small gain in home electronics. Within consumer nondurables, the output of non-energy nondurables was unchanged; increased output of chemical products was offset by declines elsewhere. The index for consumer energy products moved up 0.8 percent, with gains in the indexes for fuels and for residential utilities.
The production of business equipment declined 0.7 percent in June, with transit equipment and information processing equipment recording decreases of 1.9 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, and industrial and other equipment being little changed.
The index for defense and space equipment decreased 1.4 percent after having registered gains in each of the previous five months. Meanwhile, the output of construction supplies increased for the fourth consecutive month, climbing at an annual rate of 6.4 percent in the second quarter. The production of business supplies rose after having declined in both April and May and was little changed for the second quarter as a whole.
The output of materials to be further processed in the industrial sector increased 0.5 percent in June, with the output of durable materials rising 0.7 percent. The indexes for all of major categories here advanced during the month.
The complete June Industrial report is available online.