- Extra-time goal gives Germany World Cup title over Argentina
- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
Manufacturing powered ahead last month
Question of the Day
The nation’s factories churned out another increase in production last month, posting a 0.2 percent rise that adds to a nearly uninterrupted string of gains in the last year, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday morning.
The 13th monthly increase in output in the last 14 months was fueled by a combination of strong exports to fast-growing developing countries like China and India and a revival of computer equipment purchases by U.S. businesses. That has enabled manufacturing to do better than the overall economy so far this year.
“The recovery of industrial production has continued with little interruption since July of 2009, but the pace of expansion is slowing,” said Tim Quinlan, economist with Wells Fargo Securities, adding that “after scrimping during the recession, businesses appear to be updating their hardware.”
Last month, production gains slowed to 0.2 percent from 0.6 percent in July. The July increase originally had been reported as 1 percent.
Pulling down last month’s increase was a 5 percent drop in auto output, which had surged by 9.5 percent the month before.
Mr. Quinlan said the absence of the usual summer shutdown at automakers this year to retool plants for the new model year appears to have wreaked havoc with the Fed’s seasonal adjustment figures and made them less accurate. Economists for that reason are discounting the auto figures.
The temporary decline in autos was offset by a jump of 0.7 percent in production of computer equipment and unusually strong performance in most other industries.
“The industrial sector is benefiting from strong export growth,” said Daniel C. Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. “Manufacturing production will decelerate its pace of growth, reflecting the general weakness in the economic recovery, but should continue to outpace [overall economic growth] this year and next.”
Overall, factories continue to operate at far less than full capacity as a result of the recession. Factories are operating on average at less than 75 percent of capacity at present, the Fed report said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Crude oil will head north of the border to Canada
- S&P: Boeing to suffer if Ex-Im Bank killed
- U.S. job gains, unemployment dip push markets into record territory
- Unemployment falls to 6.1 percent amid U.S. hiring surge
- Baffled by Belgium: Burst of U.S. bond-buying raised questions, eyebrows
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Germany wins World Cup title on Mario Goetze goal in extra time
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- 'Be a leader' Perry tells Obama to confront border crisis
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs