Slow and steady isn't winning the race for manufacturing. Industrial production growth flatlined for May, according to a Federal Reserve report (link opens in PDF) released today.
After falling a revised 0.4% for April, analysts had expected a turnaround with 0.2% growth for May. Capacity utilitization predictions proved 0.3 percentage points too optimistic, with a slight contraction to 77.6% for May.
Industrial goods' major market groups showed varying degrees of growth/contraction. While business equipment and materials both managed 0.2% production increases, construction fell 0.2% as nonindustrial supplies dropped 0.3%.
Although manufacturing's 0.1% growth fell below analysts' 0.3% expectations, utilities proved to be the main pull on May's production. Following a 3.2% April decrease, utilities dropped another 1.8% in May. In the past year, utilities' 3.6% production dip is the only recorded growth contraction across all market and industry groups.