July U.S. Industrial Production Soars Past Expectations

Automotive powered much of the gain, which was a strong rebound after declines in June and May.
robot arm working in car factory

The U.S. Federal Reserve shared its monthly report for U.S. industrial production on Aug. 16, and the lead figure far surpassed consensus expectations.

The report showed that total industrial production increased 0.6% in July — double the 0.3% increase forecasted in an economist survey from The Wall Street Journal and triple the 0.2% estimated by a Reuters survey.

Capacity utilization — reflecting limits to operations in U.S. factories, mines and utilities — improved to 80.3%, up from 79.9% in June and topping the 80.2% forecasted in the WSJ survey.

At a reading of 104.8, manufacturing output reached an all-time high in July, surpassing the previous record hit in 2018, and was up 3.9% from a year earlier. It rose 0.7% in July, a considerable rebound after falling 0.4% in both June and May.

Manufacturing output bounced back in a big way in July, jumping 0.7% after declining 0.4% in both June and May. Most of that July gain was powered by motor vehicles and parts output, which jumped 6.6% during the month after declining 1.3% in June. Excluding autos, total July industrial output increased 0.3%.

The index for mining increased 0.7%, and the index for utilities decreased 0.8%.

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