Industrial Production Rose 0.3% in September


Implications:  Industrial production continued to climb higher in September, posting a fourth consecutive month of growth to hit a new record high.  And a look at growth in the past year shows industrial production – which counts "units" of output and is therefore a proxy for "real" growth – rising at the fastest 12-month pace since late 2010.  It should also be noted that the Federal Reserve reported in today's release that output growth was held down in September due to impacts by Hurricane Florence. In other words, the trend pace of growth is even faster than the headline number suggests.  Looking closer at the details of today's report shows that manufacturing, which makes up the largest part of overall production, rose 0.2% in September.  The typically volatile auto production series led the way in September, up 1.7%.  But even excluding autos, manufacturing production rose a healthy 0.2%.  In the past year manufacturing activity is up 3.5%, while manufacturing ex-autos is up 3.3%, both representing the fastest 12-month increases since 2012 for their respective series.  This demonstrates that the strength in overall manufacturing is broad-based and looks likely to persist, though storm impacts may increase the volatility in the data over the coming months.  Mining, meanwhile, grew for the eighth month in a row and is up 13.4% from a year ago.  Keeps this data in mind through market gyrations as yet another reminder that the fundamentals for continued growth remain in place.  It's heartburn, not a heart attack.  In housing news this morning, the NAHB index, which measures homebuilder sentiment, rose to 68 in October from 67 in September, remaining at a historically elevated level as homebuilders cited an optimistic outlook thanks to both economic and demographic tailwinds.      

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Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 @ 10:39 AM

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.