U.S. Industrial Production Growth Slows But Matches Estimates

Reflecting sharp increases in manufacturing and utilities output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing a jump in U.S. industrial production in the month of July that matched economist estimates.

The Fed said industrial production surged up by 3.0 percent in July after soaring by an upwardly revised 5.7 percent in June.

Economists had expected production to jump by 3.0 percent compared to the 5.4 percent spike originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the substantial increases seen over the past two months, the Fed noted production is still 8.4 percent below its pre-pandemic February level.

Manufacturing output continued to improve in July, jumping by 3.4 percent in July after spiking by 7.4 percent in June. The Fed said most major industries posted increases, though they were much smaller in magnitude than in June.

Production of motor vehicles and parts skyrocketed by 28.3 percent, while factory production elsewhere advanced by 1.6 percent.

The report said utilities output also surged up by 3.3 percent in July after leaping by 2.0 percent in June, as unusually warm temperatures increased the demand for air conditioning.

Mining production showed a more modest increase, climbing by 0.8 percent in July, although that comes after five consecutive monthly decreases.

The Fed also said capacity utilization climbed to 70.6 percent in July from a revised 68.5 percent in June. Economists had expected capacity utilization to tick up to 70.3 percent.

Capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector increased to 69.2 percent, while capacity utilization in the utilities and mining sectors rose to 75.2 percent and 73.5 percent, respectively.

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