UPDATE:Industrial production remained unchanged for the second consecutive month as weakness in construction weighed on the U.S. economy, new data out of the Federal Reserve shows.
The total industrial index ticked slightly down sequentially, falling to 78.6 in March.
Measurements of production of materials and business equipment logged slight increases during the month, but were unable to counter a 1.3 per cent fall in the construction sector. Nonetheless growth in business equipment was at its slowest pace since June.
“The production of construction supplies fell 1.3 per cent in March after having advanced 1.9 per cent in February,” the Fed said in its report. “For the first quarter, construction supplies recorded an increase of 11.5 per cent at an annual rate, its largest gain in nearly two years; nevertheless, production remained about 20 per cent below its pre-recession level.”
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg anticipated a 0.3 per cent increase in March.
Minutes away from the final data point out of the U.S. today: March Industrial Production.
Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast production increased 0.3 per cent during the month, reversing a flat reading in February.
Capacity utilization is expected to increase slightly as well, up 10 basis points to 78.5 per cent.