Manufacturing & The Economy
Industrial production increased 0.6% in February after having declined 0.2% in January. In February, manufacturing output rose 0.8% and nearly reversed its decline of 0.9% in January, which resulted, in part, from extreme weather. The gain in factory production in February was the largest since last August. The output of utilities edged down 0.2% following a jump of 3.8% in January, and the production at mines moved up 0.3%.
Manufacturing production recorded an increase of 0.8% in February after having decreased 0.9% in January. Much of the swing in the rates of change for production in January and February reflected the depressing effects on output of the severe weather in January and the subsequent return to more normal levels of production in February. The level of factory output in February was 1.5% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for manufacturing moved up 0.5% in February to 76.4%, a rate 2.3% below its long-run average.