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Industrial Production Increases 0.2% in August

Industrial production rose 0.2 percent in August after an increase of 0.6 percent in July. Manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent after having advanced 0.7 percent in July.

The step-down in the rate of increase for manufacturing output reflected a fallback in the production of motor vehicles and parts, which had jumped sharply in July. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output increased 0.5 percent in August.

"Manufacturing is recovering at a brisk pace and the August industrial production report confirms relatively widespread growth among industries – 14 of the 20 major manufacturing industries posted growth last month," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "The industrial sector is benefiting from strong export growth. A resurgence in repair, replacement, and cost cutting motivated machinery and equipment spending and replacement demand for big ticket consumer items like appliances and motor vehicles.

"Manufacturing production will decelerate its pace of growth reflecting the general weakness in the economic recovery but should continue to outpace growth in GDP this year and next," he said.

Production at mines moved up 1.2 percent in August, while the output of utilities declined1.5 percent. At 93.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in August was 6.2 percent above its year-earlier level.

The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose to 74.7 percent, a rate 4.7 percentage points above the rate from a year earlier and 5.9 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.

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