Thursday, 17 September 2009

US industrial production rises in August

The US economic recovery remains on track with industrial production rising in August. Bloomberg reports:

Output at factories, mines and utilities climbed 0.8 percent last month, exceeding the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, data from the Federal Reserve in Washington showed...

More production was helping to soak up excess capacity. The amount of industrial volume in use increased to 69.6 percent, the highest level since February...

Factory output, which accounts for about four-fifths of industrial production, increased 0.6 percent after rising 1.4 percent the prior month. Excluding automobiles, manufacturing climbed 0.4 percent, indicating the gains were broad-based.

Even the beleaguered housing market appears to be recovering.

Another report today showed an index of homebuilder confidence climbed in September for a third consecutive month. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo’s measure climbed to 19, the highest level since May 2008, from 18 in August, the Washington-based group said. A reading below 50 means most respondents view conditions as poor.

Inflation, however, is making a gradual comeback.

... The Labor Department said the cost of living climbed 0.4 percent, and was down 1.5 percent from August 2008...

The Labor Department price report today also showed prices excluding food and energy increased 0.1 percent, matching expectations. They were up 1.4 percent from a year earlier, the smallest gain since February 2004.

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