Industrial production increased 0.1 percent in February after decreasing 0.3 percent in January, according to the Federal Reserve. In February, manufacturing output declined 0.2 percent, its third straight monthly decrease. The index for mining decreased 2.5 percent, due primarily to drops in the indexes for coal mining and for oil and gas well drilling and servicing.
The output of utilities jumped 7.3 percent, as especially cold temperatures drove up demand for heating. At 105.8 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in February was 3.5 percent above its level of a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased to 78.9 percent in February, a rate that is 1.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2014) average.
Among the major market groups, the indexes for consumer goods, for defense and space equipment, and for business supplies registered gains in February, while losses were recorded by business equipment, construction supplies, and materials. The index for consumer goods moved up 1 percent, with the increase more than accounted for by a gain of 7.6 percent for consumer energy products, which reflected a jump in sales to consumers by utilities. The output of durable consumer goods dropped 1.4 percent, and the production of non-energy nondurables decreased 0.2 percent. The output of business equipment declined 0.3 percent, with an increase for transit equipment and decreases for information processing equipment and for industrial and other equipment. The index for materials declined 0.2 percent, with a drop of 0.8 percent in the output of durable materials partially offset by small gains for both nondurable materials and energy materials.
Manufacturing output decreased 0.2 percent in February. The production of durable goods moved down 0.6 percent, with widespread losses among its components, and the production of nondurable goods moved up 0.2 percent.
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