Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Industrial production increased slightly less than forecast in December, gaining 0.4% during the month.Economists polled by Bloomberg expected the headline figure to rise 0.5% during the month, reversing a decline of 0.3% in November.
Construction spending offered a boon to the economy, gaining 1.0%, the highest since July.
Capacity utilization also increased 30 basis points month-on-month, in line with expectations for 78.1% and touching a peak set in October that was last crossed in July of 2008.
“The output of utilities fell 2.7 per cent, as unseasonably warm weather reduced the demand for heating; the output of mines moved up 0.3 per cent,” the Federal Reserve said in a statement. “At 95.3 per cent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in December was 2.9 per cent above its level of a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose to 78.1 per cent, a rate 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2010) average.”
Below, a look at gains in industrial production and capacity utilization over the past 16 years.
Photo: Federal Reserve