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The Fed's Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization shows much stronger than expected numbers.

Key Points

  • Industrial production rose 0.6 percent in August after declining 0.1 percent in July.
  • Factory output has increased 0.2 percent per month over the past four months after having decreased 0.5 percent per month during the first four months of the year. In August, the indexes for utilities and mining moved up 0.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
  • At 109.9 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 0.4 percent higher in August than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.4 percentage point in August to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
  • Manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent in August, more than reversing its decrease in July as the indexes for durables and for nondurables increased while the index for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) edged down.
  • Production rose for most major categories within durable manufacturing. The largest gains were recorded by machinery, primary metals, and nonmetallic mineral products; the only sizable decline was recorded by motor vehicles and parts.
  • The gain of 0.5 percent for nondurables reflected strength in plastics and rubber products and in chemicals; the other major nondurable goods industries registered either declines or very small increases.

FOMC Decision September 18

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