Feb 15, 2023 - Economy

Factories keep on chugging

Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals

The new year also brought some momentum in the manufacturing sector, new data out this morning shows, as factory output picked up momentum after slowing late last year.

Driving the news: Overall, industrial production was unchanged last month from December — but that was due to a 10% drop in output by utilities, a result of a warmer-than-usual winter.

  • Manufacturing output jumped by 1%, following a steep 1.8% decline in December, suggesting some underlying resilience activity at factories in the United States.
  • Mining output rose 2%, as capacity utilization in the U.S. industrial sector ticked down.

Between the lines: Industrial output invariably falls during recessions, and that is not what is happening so far.

What they're saying: "The big increases in manufacturing and mining output in January, after weakness at the end of 2022, point to continued resilience in the US economy and a pickup in economic activity in early 2023," said PNC chief economist Gus Faucher.

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