US Industrial Output Rises 0.7% in April

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 17, 2018

US factories cranked out more appliances, computers and aircraft last month, lifting manufacturing production for only the second time in five months.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that output expanded 0.7% last month, just topping Wall Street expectations of a 0.6% increase. That marked the third straight month of higher production.

In particular, at up by 0.5% month-on-month, manufacturing production beat their projection for a dip of 0.1%, although offsetting weakness in the output of utilities meant that their tracking estimate for second quarter gross domestic product was unchanged at up by 3.0%.

The economy's industrial segment is firming but not to the extent that inflation seems about to surge, according to one closely watched measure of industrial slack.

Capacity utilization rose to 78% in April, a three-year high.

USA industrial production rose slightly faster than expected in April, a third straight monthly increase that was supported by gains in every major market group. In the past year, production has increased a modest 1.8 percent.

Production of industrial machinery jumped 2.3 percent in April, the most in seven months. The index in April was 10.6% higher than its year-earlier level. Production of durable goods decreased 0.5%, while nondurable goods production rose 1.5%.

Utilities increased 1.9% in April, after rising 6.1% in March.

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