Manufacturing output increased in October

Manufacturing output increased by 0.1 percent in October and was 2.4 percent above its year-earlier level, according to the Federal Reserve.

The index for durable manufacturing increased by 0.5 percent, while the index for nondurable manufacturing fell 0.3 percent. Industrial production fell by 0.1 percent in October. The rise in durable manufacturing was driven by increases of at least 1.5 percent in electrical equipment, appliances and components; aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment; and motor vehicles and parts. The drop in nondurable manufacturing was especially caused by losses for petroleum and coal products, textile and product mills, and paper. 

According to the Fed, an increase in consumer goods production was driven by jumps in the production of automotive products and in appliances, furniture and carpeting products, while the rise in business equipment output was broad-based. 

Total industrial production in October, at 104.7 percent of its 2017 average, was 3.3 percent above its year-earlier reading. Industrial capacity utilization slightly fell in October to just under 80 percent, still slightly above its previous 49-year average. Capacity utilization for manufacturing was unchanged at 79.5 percent, which is also above its long-term average.  

The index for mining fell 0.4 percent in October as drops in oil and gas extraction outpaced increases in oil and gas well-drilling and in coal mining. Output for utilities dropped 1.5 percent as a decrease in electric utilities output outweighed an increase for natural gas utilities.