Industrial production rose 0.2 percent in November after posting an upwardly revised increase of 1.2 percent in October, the Federal Reserve reported. Manufacturing production also rose 0.2 percent in November, its third consecutive monthly gain. The output of utilities dropped 1.9 percent. The index for mining increased 2 percent, as oil and gas extraction returned to normal levels after being held down in October by Hurricane Nate.
Excluding the post-hurricane rebound in oil and gas extraction, total industrial production would have been unchanged in November. Total industrial production was 106.4 percent of its 2012 average in November and was 3.4 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.1 percent in November, a rate that is 2.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average.
In November, manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent and was 2.4 percent above its year-earlier level. The increase in November reflected a gain of 0.4 percent for durables. The index for nondurable manufacturing was unchanged, and the index for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) dropped 1.4 percent. Within durable manufacturing, gains were widespread, with the largest being the advance of 1.7 percent registered by primary metals. Among nondurable manufacturing industries, increases for plastics and rubber products and for printing and support were offset by declines for all of the other major industries.
A gain of 3 percent in oil and gas extraction was the primary contributor to a jump of 2 percent for mining production in November. The index for mining is up 9.4 percent from its year-earlier level, but it is 8.2 percent below its peak in December 2014. The index for utilities dropped 1.9 percent, as a decrease for electric utilities outweighed an increase for natural gas utilities.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing edged up to 76.4 percent in November, its highest reading since May 2008. Utilization for durables increased 0.2 percentage point to 75.9 percent, and the operating rate for nondurables edged down 0.1 percentage point to 78 percent. The operating rate for mines increased 1.5 percentage points to 84.5 percent, and the rate for utilities decreased 1.4 percentage points to 75.7 percent.
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