U.S. Industrial Production and Capacity Report shows manufacturing growth in February

March 16, 2012

Industrial production was unchanged in February after rising for January, but manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent for the month, according to the U.S. Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report for February, as stated by Bloomberg.

The report outlined how the index for motor vehicles and parts fell 1.1 percent after jumping by 8.6 percent in January, but the index for manufacturing in all other sectors increased 0.4 percent for February.

According to the report, manufacturing output rose to a level that was 5.1 percent higher than the same index only a year earlier. Production rose 1.1 percent in January, a total of 0.4 percent more than reported previously.

A higher output of food, transportation equipment, and primary metals contributed importantly to the revision. The factory operating rate moved up 0.1 percentage point in February to 77.4 percent, a rate that was 13 percent higher than the low that was posted in June 2009.

The report outlined how within manufacturing, the output of durable goods rose 0.4 percent in February, and this number was 8.5 percent higher than the index during the same period for 2011.

Output gains of more than 1 percent were posted for a variety of sectors within manufacturing. These rises were seen for fabricated metal products, aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, electrical equipment, appliances, and components.

"In February, the production of business equipment rose 0.6 percent and was 10.8 percent above its year-earlier level. The index for information processing equipment moved up 1.0 percent last month for its third consecutive gain of 1 percent or more," said the report.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that manufacturing strategy has helped to revive the entire economy, but some economists have predicted that the sector could moderate slightly over the course of 2012. Growth is still expected, however, and the year-over-year index is 4 percent higher for industry in the U.S.

The Associated Press reported that the government said in the week prior to the most recent report that manufacturers added 31,000 jobs in February, and Capital Economics noted that the number of hours worked by manufacturing employees also rose 0.9 percent last month.

According to the news outlet, this positive news followed significant rises in the manufacturing surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and New York.