Industrial production, the Federal Reserve’s measure of US goods output, was right in line with expectations for the month of March.
Production increased by 0.5%, the exact increase expected by economists. This was an improvement from last month’s flat reading.
Surprisingly, output for manufacturing firms fell 0.4%, much worse than the 0.1% gain expected, due to a steep decrease in auto manufacturing.
“Manufacturing output fell 0.4 per cent in March, led by a large step-down in the production of motor vehicles and parts; factory output aside from motor vehicles and parts moved down 0.2 per cent,” said the Fed’s release.
Additionally, capacity utilization — or the percentage of production capacity being used in the US — rose to 76.1% from last month’s 75.4%, also in line with expectations.