Canadian Plastics

U.S. industrial production rises 0.4 per cent in March

Despite job losses, U.S. industrial output rose in March as cold weather kept utilities busy generating heat and a surge in auto production helped offset broader weakness in manufacturing.

April 17, 2013   Canadian Plastics

Despite job losses, U.S. industrial output rose in March as cold weather kept utilities busy generating heat and a surge in auto production helped offset broader weakness in manufacturing.

Production at America’s factories, mines, and utilities rose 0.4 per cent in March from February, the Federal Reserve said. And production of autos and auto parts surged 2.9 per cent, the second straight monthly gain. Auto production is up 10.2 per cent over the past year. Car sales have risen steadily this year after reaching a five-year high in 2012.

Overall factory production slipped 0.1 per cent, dragged down by falling metal production and clothing. Still, consumer goods climbed 1.1 per cent, matching February’s gain. And business equipment showed a slight increase, the Fed said.

Overall, though, the U.S. economy shed 3,000 manufacturing jobs in March and factory employees worked fewer hours, the Fed said. Output was slowed in March after U.S. factories saw less demand in February for long-lasting goods that signal business investment plans. Still, the decline followed a gain in January that was the biggest in nearly three years.


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