U.S. Factory production increased for the fourth consecutive month in December, closing the strongest quarter since 2010 and underlining a resurgence in the manufacturing industry that is poised for new developments, Federal Reserve data showed on Wednesday.
Highlights of industrial production (December)
The manufacturing output gain lower than expected in December reflected a 0.1 percent drop in the production of non-durable goods, including oil and chemical products. Durable goods production rose a solid 0.3 percent.
Factory production increased at an annualized rate of 7 percent in the fourth quarter, the strongest since the second quarter of 2010. Combined with national and regional surveys of purchasing managers, the figures indicate that it was robust at the end of year.
Higher consumer spending, increased commercial investment and more shipments of merchandise to overseas customers are providing a lot of fuel for the nation's producers. In addition, the lowest commercial inventory-sales ratio in three years could translate into higher production in the coming months.
Factory production rose 1.3 percent in 2017, the strongest annual reading in five years.
Monthly Fed data are volatile and often revised. The manufacturing industry, which accounts for more than 75 percent of total industrial production, accounts for approximately 12 percent of the US economy. UU
- Service production jumped 5.6 percent after falling 3.1 percent the previous month
- Mining production increased 1.6 percent; with the drilling of oil and gas wells rising by 0.9 percent
- The production of motor vehicles increased by 2 percent, the largest amount in four months; excluding cars and parts, manufacturing output fell 0.1 percent
- Production of consumer goods increased 1 percent and production of commercial equipment increased 0.2 percent
- Production of machinery and wood products increased in December  – With the assistance of Kristy Scheuble