Manufacturing output fell in November

Manufacturing output fell by 0.6 percent in November but remained 1.2 percent above its year-earlier level, according to the Federal Reserve

“Decreases were broad-based across market groups with the primary exceptions of consumer energy products, energy materials, and defense and space equipment,” the Fed stated. “The output of consumer durables fell about 2 percent, led by automotive products, while the output of consumer non-energy durables decreased about 1/2 percent.”

Industrial production dropped 0.2 percent last month as decreases in manufacturing and mining were partially offset by a 3.6 percent rise in utilities. Indexes for durable and nondurable manufacturing both fell by 0.6 percent, and the index for publishing and logging manufacturing fell by 0.4 percent. 

“Within durables, increases were recorded by wood products, by computer and electronic products, and by aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment; these gains were outweighed by losses for other industries, particularly for motor vehicles and parts. Within nondurables, most industries registered decreases, with only printing and support posting an increase.” 

Total industrial production, at 104.5 percent of its 2017 average, was 2.5 percent above its reading from 12 months ago, according to the report. Capacity utilization dropped by 0.2 percentage point in November to 79.7 percent, slightly above its long-term average. Capacity utilization for manufacturing fell by 0.6 percent in November to 78.9 percent, which is still 0.7 percent above its long-term average. 

The production of business equipment dropped 0.8 percent in November as decreases were seen for transit equipment and for industrial and other equipment. Indexes for nondurable and durable materials, construction supplies and business supplies all fell by a half-percent or less. 

Mining output and the indexes for oil and gas extraction and for oil and gas well drilling all fell by 0.7 percent. The operating rate for mining fell by 0.7 percentage point to 88.2 percent, while the operating rate for utilities increased 2.4 percentage points to 74.4 percent.