Industrial Production Expands 0.3% In December

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Photo: Boeing

UPDATE: December industrial production is out.Click here for updates >

The headline number expanded 0.3 per cent in December, right in line with expectations.

Last month’s growth was revised down to 1.0 per cent from 1.1 per cent.

Manufacturing production increased 0.8 per cent, exceeding expectations of a 0.5 per cent rise.

Last month’s manufacturing production growth was revised up to 1.3 per cent from 1.1 per cent.

Capacity utilization rose to 78.8 per cent from last month’s upwardly-revised 78.7 per cent figure.

Below is the full text from the release:

Industrial production increased 0.3 per cent in December after having risen 1.0 per cent in November when production rebounded in the industries that had been negatively affected by Hurricane Sandy in late October. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production moved up at an annual rate of 1.0 per cent.

Manufacturing output advanced 0.8 per cent in December following a gain of 1.3 per cent in November; production edged up at an annual rate of 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter. The output at mines rose 0.6 per cent in December, and the output of utilities fell 4.8 per cent as unseasonably warm weather held down the demand for heating. At 98.1 per cent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in December was 2.2 per cent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.1 percentage point to 78.8 per cent, a rate 1.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2011) average.

Market Groups

The production of consumer goods edged down 0.1 per cent in December and declined at an annual rate of 0.9 per cent in the fourth quarter. The output of durable consumer goods increased 1.2 per cent in December, as gains in automotive products and in home electronics more than offset declines in the indexes for appliances, furniture, and carpeting and for miscellaneous durable goods. The output of nondurable consumer goods decreased 0.5 per cent in December. The decline was concentrated in the production of consumer energy products, which fell 4.4 per cent. Among non-energy nondurables, output increased in all major categories, with gains of more than 1 per cent in the indexes for clothing, for chemical products, and for paper products.

The output of business equipment moved up 1.3 per cent in December following a rise of 2.0 per cent in November, but it was little changed for the fourth quarter as a whole. All major categories of business equipment advanced in December. For the fourth quarter, the production of transit equipment moved up at an annual rate of 6.5 per cent. The indexes both for information processing equipment and for industrial and other equipment decreased at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The index for defence and space equipment increased 0.4 per cent in December, but it declined at an annual rate of 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. Output in December was 2.2 per cent above its year-earlier level.

Among nonindustrial supplies, the index for construction supplies gained 1.0 per cent in December after having moved up more than 2 per cent in November. For the fourth quarter, the output of construction supplies advanced at an annual rate of nearly 8 per cent. The production of business supplies edged down 0.2 per cent in December and declined at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The output of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector rose 0.3 per cent in December and advanced at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent in the fourth quarter. The index for durable materials increased 0.9 per cent in December. All major components of durable materials—consumer parts, equipment parts, and other durable materials—posted gains. The production of nondurable materials increased 0.6 per cent.

Among nondurable materials, a sizable gain in the index for chemical materials more than offset declines in textile materials and in paper materials. The output of energy materials declined 0.5 per cent in December but advanced at an annual rate of 6.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing production rose 0.8 per cent in December after having gained 1.3 per cent in November.

The output of manufacturers edged up at an annual rate of 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, and factory output was little changed, on net, since the first quarter of 2012. Within manufacturing, increases were widespread in December across both durable and nondurable goods industries. The factory operating rate rose to 77.4 per cent, a rate 1.4 percentage points below its long-run average.

The production of durable goods advanced 1.0 per cent in December and increased at an annual rate of 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter. Output rose in December for most major categories of durables, with gains of more than 1 per cent in the indexes for nonmetallic mineral products, for primary metals, for computer and electronic products, for motor vehicles and parts, and for miscellaneous manufacturing. The output of fabricated metal products was unchanged in December, and the indexes both for wood products and for electrical equipment, appliances, and components decreased after having posted strong gains in November. Capacity utilization for durable goods manufacturing in December was 77.8 per cent, a rate 0.7 percentage point above its long-run average.

The output of nondurables rose 0.6 per cent in December, but it moved down at an annual rate of 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter. For December, the indexes for most major categories of nondurables increased, although the indexes for textile and product mills and for paper declined. Advances of more than 1 per cent were recorded for apparel and leather, for printing and related support activities, and for chemicals. Capacity utilization for nondurable manufacturing was 78.3 per cent, a rate 2.6 percentage points below its long-run average.

Production in the non-NAICS manufacturing industries (logging and publishing) rose 1.7 per cent in December but was down 7.5 per cent relative to its year-earlier level. In December, mining output advanced 0.6 per cent; production in the fourth quarter as a whole rose at an annual rate of 10.1 per cent, with particularly large gains in oil and gas extraction. Capacity utilization at mines in December moved up 0.4 percentage point to 91.9 per cent, a rate 4.6 percentage points above its long-run average. The output of utilities declined 4.8 per cent in December, with decreases in the electric and the natural gas categories that resulted from the unseasonably warm weather. The operating rate for utilities fell 3.8 percentage points to 71.8 per cent, a rate 14.5 percentage points below its long-run average.

Capacity utilization rates in December for industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 0.3 percentage point to 89.1 per cent, a rate 2.8 percentage points above its long-run average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization declined 0.4 percentage point to 75.6 per cent, a rate 5.5 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization moved up 0.6 percentage point to 77.7 per cent, a rate 0.5 percentage point above its long-run average.

Click here for the full release >

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ORIGINAL: Minutes away from December U.S. industrial production figures at 9:15 AM ET.

Economists predict industrial production expanded 0.3 per cent in December after growing 1.1 per cent in November.

Manufacturing production is expected to grow 0.5 per cent after also posting 1.1 per cent gains in November. Capacity utilization is expected to tick up to 78.5 per cent.

We will have the data LIVE at 9:15 AM ET. Click here for updates >

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