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Industrial Production: Accelerating Gains Since Jan

May 16, 2017
Bottom Line: Industrial activity increased sharply in April after rising moderately in March. April's monthly change was the highest since December, when we saw a weather-related increase in utility production. Overall, Industrial output growth is now growing modestly on a year-over-year basis. Mining output rose modestly while manufacturing output rose again and is 1.7% above its year ago levels. Industrial production in April suggest Q2 started faster than its 2.4% pace from Q4 to Q1.

Industrial Production ROSE by 0.98% in April, compared with market expectations for an increase of 0.4%. However, the prior month was revised from 0.6% down to 0.4%. Output is now 2.2% ABOVE its year ago level.

In April, Mining Output ROSE by 1.2%, and is now 7.3% ABOVE its year ago level. Utility Generation ROSE by 0.7% and is now 0.5% BELOW its year ago level.

Manufacturing Output ROSE by 1.0% but is now only 1.7% ABOVE its year ago level.Output in high-tech industries fell by 0.1%. Meanwhile, output in the motor vehicle industry rose by 5.0%. Excluding both the high-tech and motor vehicles industries, industrial output climbed by 0.7%.

Capacity Utilization ROSE by 0.7 points to 76.7%, compared with market expectations for a smaller increase to 76.3%. Moreover, the prior month was revised from 75.3% to 76.1%. The capacity utilization rate is now 1.1 percentage points above its year ago level and 3.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2015) average.