INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UNEXPECTEDLY CONTRACTS

Industrial production unexpectedly slipped into negative territory in October, falling to -0.1% from a revised 0.7% last month.

Consensus was for growth of 0.2%.

Manufacturing production rose 0.3%, its third-straight month of gains, and analysts so far are focusing on that gain:

“Stripping out the possible weather-impact of October utility production, the report does not really disappoint,” MillerTabak’s Andrew Wilkinson writes. “On a year-over-year basis industrial production remains 3.2% stronger while manufacturers are producing 3.3% more than they did in October 2012.”

Mining output fell -1.6%, the first decline in six months. Utilities fell -1.1% after having jumped 4.5% in September. The headline print matched the 2007 average and was 3.2% per cent above last October.

“The anticipated decline in industrial production contrasts with the strength in the manufacturing ISM index, although the details are unlikely to be as weak as the headline figure,” High Frequency Economics’ Jim O’Sullivan said in an advance note. “Within the report, we expect at least a modest gain in non-auto manufacturing, with offsets from autos, utilities and mining.”

We’ve mostly been back in positive territory since the recession:

But you can also see that the recession shunted the overall trajectory to another, slower gear:

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