Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       
 
 

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
 
Click for Bio
Follow Brian on Twitter Follow Brian on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Bob on Twitter Follow Bob on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
 
  Industrial Production Increased 0.9% in December
Posted Under: Data Watch • Industrial Production - Cap Utilization

 

Implications:  Industrial production finished 2017 with a bang, beating consensus expectations and posting the largest calendar-year gain since 2010.  The headline series rose 0.9% in December and is now up 3.6% in the past year.  Further, overall production rebounded 10.7% at an annual rate in Q4 – its fastest quarterly pace since 2009 – after being held back in Q3 by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Even though the overall number was strong in December, it is important to note that the details of the report show the strength was primarily due to the volatile utilities and mining components.  Manufacturing, which rose 0.1% in December has undergone a major shift.  Back in December 2016, automobile manufacturing was up 6% from the prior year while non-auto manufacturing was up 0.2%.  Now the leadership has reversed, with auto manufacturing up only 0.4% in the past year while non-auto manufacturing is up 2.6%.  This demonstrates that the revival of manufacturing outside the auto sector in the US hasn't been all talk.  The biggest source of strength in today's report came from utilities, a volatile category that is very dependent on weather, which rebounded 5.7% in December, after coming in weak in November.  Given low January temperatures in much of the country, utilities may have another month of growth in them before reverting to normal.  Another bright spot in December came from mining, which rose 1.6% amid broad-based gains in the sector.  Notably, after five consecutive months of declines, oil and gas-well drilling rose 0.9% in December.  Despite the weakness following the storms, today's gain signals it may have turned the corner.  Look for a surge in drilling activity in the months ahead.  In other recent news, the Empire State index, a measure of manufacturing sentiment in New York, dropped to 17.7 in January from 19.6 in December.  On the housing front, the NAHB index, which measures homebuilder sentiment, fell to a still high 72 in January from 74 in December, signaling continued optimism from developers.

Click here for PDF version

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:43 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L. P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
 
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial advisors are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA.
First Trust Advisors L.P.
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved.