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Industrial Production Increases 0.4% in November

Industrial production increased 0.4 percent in November after a decline of 0.2 percent in October. In the manufacturing sector, output advanced 0.3 percent in November with gains in both durables and nondurables.

The gains among durable goods industries were particularly broad-based; only the production of motor vehicles and parts decreased substantially. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, overall factory output advanced 0.7 percent. The output of mines edged lower, but the output of utilities moved up 1.9 percent as the return of more seasonal temperatures boosted the demand for heating.

At 93.9 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in November was 5.4 percent above its level a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose to 75.2 percent, a rate 5.4 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.

"The November industrial production report shows that the manufacturing sector is decelerating in its pace of growth, consistent with the pace of growth in the overall economy," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.

The production indexes for construction supplies and business supplies both rose 0.9 percent in November. Over the 12 months ending in November, the output of construction supplies has moved up 6.0 percent, while the output of business supplies has increased 1.4 percent.

The output of durable goods rose 0.4 percent, and with the exceptions of nonmetallic mineral products and motor vehicles and parts, output advanced in all of the major industries. Gains of 1 percent or more were reported in wood products, primary metals, fabricated metal products, machinery, computer and electronic products, and miscellaneous manufacturing.

The production of nondurable goods rose 0.2 percent. Increases of 1 percent or more occurred in paper, printing and support, and plastics and rubber products. The indexes for petroleum and coal products and for chemicals both advanced around 0.5 percent. However, the production of food, beverage, and tobacco products declined and more than retraced the previous month's increase. The output indexes for textile and product mills and for apparel and leather both moved lower.

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