Sunday, April 17, 2011

USA Industrial Production at Post-Recession High! (Chart) *Highest since August 2008*

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Federal Reserve Statistical Release: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Official Statement by the Federal Reserve (April 15, 2011) Industrial production increased 0.8 percent in March and rose at an annual rate of 6.0 percent for the first quarter as a whole. Manufacturing output advanced 0.7 percent in March, its fourth consecutive month of strong expansion; factory production climbed at an annual rate of 9.1 percent in the first quarter. Outside of manufacturing, the output of mines rose 0.6 percent in March, while the output of utilities increased 1.7 percent after declining significantly in the preceding two months. At 93.6 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production was 5.9 percent above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry rose 0.5 percentage point to 77.4 percent, a rate 3.0 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2010.

Trend The short, intermediate, and long term trends are upwards, indicating USA industrial production is expanding..

Cycle History The USA Industrial Production Index is at a Post-Great Recession peak of 93.6 (preliminary). A Great Recession cyclical low of 83.5 was set in June 2009. A Pre-Great Recession peak was reached of 100.7 in September 2007. 

Industrial Production Index (Chart) Below is a chart of the USA Industrial Production Index from the Pre-Great Recession cyclical peak of 100.7 in September 2007 through the latest month reported.

Commentary The March USA Industrial Production Index of 93.6 (preliminary) is at a Post-Great Recession cyclical peak and a 31-month high, which is very encouraging. This relieves some of the concern in March due to rising oil prices and a resulting slowdown. April will now be the key month to see if industrial production can continue the expansion.

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