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Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Manufacturing PMIs have surged over the past few months, showing a clear breakout V-shaped recovery that has put the indexes of sentiment at the highest levels since 2018, but the hard numbers continue to lag.

Driving the news: The Fed's index of industrial production, which tracks output at factories, mines and utilities, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.6% last month after consistent increases since May, and output remains 7.1% below where it was in February.

Why it matters: PMI reports, especially in the manufacturing sector, are major indicators economists have pointed to as proof the economy is recovering quickly.

Details: Manufacturing, the biggest component of production, fell 0.3%, after rising 1.2% in August.

  • Utility production fell 5.6% due to a decline in air conditioning use.
  • Mining output rose 1.7%.
  • Capacity utilization, a measure of slack in the industrial economy, fell to 71.5% in September from a revised 72% in August. Economists forecast capacity utilization would rise to 71.8%.

My thought bubble: The tea kettle spout shape of a quick bounceback and decline seen in the chart of manufacturing industrial production is eerily similar to the shape of other U.S. data points, most notably employment.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. markets brace for possible inflation spike

Expand chart
Data: ISM; Chart: Axios Visuals

A spate of recent U.S. economic data releases suggest that inflation could be making a major comeback.

Driving the news: Thursday's report on the U.S. services sector for November from the Institute for Supply Management was slightly better than expected but still down from October's reading, however, the bigger story was in the prices paid index.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

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