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All major market groups recorded decreases in January. The output of consumer goods edged down 0.2 percent; a drop in consumer durables more than offset an increase in consumer nondurables. Among durables, the output of automotive products retreated 4.4 percent; smaller losses were recorded in miscellaneous consumer durables and in appliances, furniture, and carpeting, but the output of home electronics rose. The increase in consumer nondurables was the result of a jump of 3.9 percent in residential energy sales. The output of non-energy nondurables decreased 0.5 percent; an 0.8 percent drop in the production of foods and tobacco and a 0.6 percent decline in chemical production outweighed gains in the production of clothing and of paper products.
The output of business equipment fell 1.6 percent in January; declines in transit equipment and in industrial and other equipment more than offset an increase of 0.9 percent in information processing. A large decrease in truck assemblies held down production in transit equipment despite a further gain in commercial aircraft. Lower production of construction equipment and of farm machinery contributed to a drop of 2.8 percent in the index for industrial and other equipment, which left it at about the same level as in November. The output of defense and space equipment increased 1.2 percent.
The output of construction supplies fell 1 percent in January after an upwardly revised gain of 1.8 percent in December; production in January was 2.8 percent below its year-earlier level. The output of business supplies edged up in January for a second consecutive month. The production of non-energy materials dropped in January, while the output of energy materials was unchanged. Within non-energy durables, the production of both durable and nondurable materials fell. Declines in indexes related to motor vehicle parts contributed to the drop of 3.7 percent for consumer parts; the production of other durables was pulled down by production declines in metals and lower output in stone mining and quarrying and in sand and gravel mining.
Manufacturing production decreased 0.7 percent in January; the factory operating rate, at 79.6 percent, was the lowest manufacturing utilization rate since October 2005. The production of durable goods decreased 1.3 percent in January despite gains of more than 1 percent for computer and electronic products and for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment. Declines of 0.5 percent or more were registered in wood products, nonmetallic mineral products, primary metal, machinery, motor vehicles and parts, and miscellaneous manufacturing.
The production of nondurable manufacturing edged down 0.2 percent in January and was just 0.3 percent above its year-ago level. Declines occurred in textile and product mills, paper, printing and support, and chemical production. Apparel and leather, petroleum and coal, and plastics and rubber registered increases. Production in the non-NAICS manufacturing industries (logging and publishing) gained 0.5 percent after a decline of 1.3 percent in December.