Total industrial production in America jumped last month by 0.9 percent, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. That was more than double the increase economists had expected and the best monthly gain since October. Strength was seen in almost every output category in December, although the utilities component significantly outperformed due to the winter weather (more people using heating). Elsewhere in the report, business equipment rose for the fifth month in a row, which bodes well for fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth. As for manufacturing, which makes up roughly 75 percent of all industrial production, this component lifted by 0.1 percent om December, below forecasts, while capacity utilization, sometimes used as a leading indicator of inflation and potential output, surged to 77.9 percent, the highest reading since 2015.
Sources: Econoday, FRBG, ZH, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch