Industrial Production Slumps 0.6%

Overall industrial production dropped off 0.6% for April, according to a Federal Reserve report (link opens as PDF) released today. 

After jumping a revised 0.9% for March, analysts hadn't expected much from April, but their flat-line estimate proved overly optimistic. Still, with February growth  clocking in at 1.1%, 2014 has been a fairly solid year for overall industrial production. January notched -0.2%. The government says "severe weather" constrained production early in the quarter.

While all major market groups declined from March to April, final products took the hardest hit, down 1%. Consumer goods saw an especially deep 1.3% cut, and a recent retail report showing retail spending barely budged in April suggests that hesitation on the production line might be warranted. 

Breaking production down by industries, utilities dropped off 5.3% (households used less heat as temperatures rose), manufacturing declined 0.4%, and mining production grew 1.4%. Analysts had expected much more from manufacturing, with average estimates showing 0.4% growth. 

Overall capacity utilization (a measure of production efficiency) fell 0.7 percentage points to 78.6% -- well below expectations of a slight 0.1-percentage-point decline. 

April didn't create any industrial optimists, but after February's and March's major growth, May will be worth watching to see how things are shaping up longer term.

Source: Federal Reserve 

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2959334, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2015 1:44:11 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Justin Loiseau

Energy and Macroeconomic Specialist keeping investors up to date with macro news, utilities, and good companies doing good things.

Today's Market

updated 4 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,654.77 369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 47.15 2.43%
NASD 4,812.71 115.17 2.45%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes