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Construction Spending Increased in January

Industrial Production Up 0.1% in February

Industrial production edged up 0.1% in February after decreasing 0.4% in January, according to the Federal Reserve. Manufacturing production fell 0.4% in February for its second consecutive monthly decline. The index for utilities rose 3.7%, while the index for mining moved up 0.3%. At 109.7% of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5% higher in February than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector edged down 0.1%age point in February to 78.2%, a rate that is 1.6% below its long-run (1972–2018) average.

Manufacturing output decreased 0.4% in February after falling 0.5% in January. In February, the index stood 1% above its year-earlier level. The output of durables edged down. Losses of 1.5% or more were registered by nonmetallic mineral products, by machinery, and by furniture and related products, while gains of more than 1% were registered by computer and electronics products, by aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, and by miscellaneous manufacturing. Nondurable goods production fell 0.7%. Most major nondurable goods industries posted decreases; the only increases were recorded by paper and by food, beverage, and tobacco products. Production of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) increased 0.5% but remained well below its year-earlier level. 

The output of utilities rose 3.7% in February; the output of electric utilities rebounded from decreases in the previous two months. Mining output moved up 0.3% for its 13th consecutive monthly increase, and the index was 12.5% above its level of a year earlier. 

Capacity utilization for manufacturing declined 0.4%age point in February to 75.4%, almost 3% below its long-run average, with losses for durables and for nondurables but a gain for other manufacturing (publishing and logging). The utilization rate for mining decreased to 94.6% but remained well above its long-run average of 87.1%. The rate for utilities jumped to 78.6%, but it was still nearly 7% below its long-run average.


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