Economist's Insights

Manufacturing Output Jumps the Most in More than Three Years

May 17, 2017

Actual industrial production more than doubled estimates in April as manufacturing output improved by the most since February 2014. Overall industrial production and the manufacturing component both rose 1.0% last month; both were expected to improve by 0.4%. April’s gains in manufacturing extended a healthy run for the sector that has now experienced higher output in seven of the last eight months. While most categories within the manufacturing data improved, output from the auto sector jumped an even 5.0% (the most since November 2014) and contributed 0.3% to the headline 1.0% gain. Despite the strength in the April auto-related data, the anecdotal evidence indicates surging auto production may be short-lived. Mining output also rebounded in April and utilities output was positive again in April as electricity usage edged higher.