December industrial production rose a solid 1.1% in November after falling 0.9% in October and 0.4% in September. The strike at GM by the UAW cut heavily into output for the manufacturing sector in those months. The end of the strike in late October allowed motor vehicle factories to gear up again and address some backlog in production. The increase also got an assist from a bump up in utilities use as the weather turned colder. The nice bump higher for industrial output isn’t likely to last into December. Catch-up after the end of the strike will be largely complete and orders for hard goods outside of the defense sector have been soft.
Manufacturing was up 1.1% in November from October. Manufacturing of motor vehicles and parts gained 12.4% from the prior month. Manufacturing excluding motor vehicles and parts was up 0.3% as the durables component gained 0.6%
Mining was down 0.2% from the prior month. Oil and gas well drilling was down 3.9% in November and extended a string of declines to six straight months.
Utilities output was up 2.9% in November from the prior month with the arrival of colder weather in many parts of the US as well as greater energy demand as manufacturing picked up. Output was up 2.8% for electric and 3.4% for natural gas.
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