Mar 17, 2017

U.S. manufacturing posts six straight month of gains

Ted S. Warren/AP

Manufacturing output rose year-over-year for the sixth straight month, to reach its highest level since July of 2008, the Federal Reserve announced Friday. The Fed also noted strong growth in the mining sector and that the utilities sector struggled due to unseasonably warm weather.

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Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: The figures reinforce the narrative of a strengthening economy, and underscore the negative effect that the collapse in oil prices had on the American economy. Energy extractors cut way back on investment last year, hurting U.S. manufacturing growth.

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U.S. manufacturing activity hits worst level since 2009

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Institute of Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity released Friday hit its lowest level since the end of the Great Recession in December.

Why it matters: It shows worsening conditions for the U.S. manufacturing sector, which has been in contraction for five straight months, and reignites concerns about the trade war's impact on the economy. Stocks, already in the red after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general, fell near the lowest levels of the day following the release of the data.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

U.S. economy adds 145,000 jobs in final report of 2019

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, the government said on Friday, below economists’ expectations of 160,000. The unemployment rate held at 3.5% — a 50-year low — while wages grew 2.9% from a year earlier, the smallest gain since July 2018.

Why it matters: The U.S. job market held up in the final month of 2019, but heads into the election year with a slowing pace of job creation and wage growth.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

Midwestern manufacturing improved in December but is still contracting

Data: ISM Chicago; Chart: Axios Visuals

The manufacturing industry in the Midwest continued to contract in December, but did exceed expectations and deliver the best reading in four months.

Why it matters: The Chicago PMI, which tracks manufacturing companies based in the Chicago region, continues to rebound from October's abysmal report that showed the weakest number in four years and the second lowest in a decade.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020