Economist's Insights

Industrial Output Dropped in January for the First Time in Five Months as Manufacturing Leveled Off, Mining Disappointed, and Utilities Output Rose at a Slower Pace

Feb 15, 2018

Disappointment in January’s industrial production report was enhanced somewhat by a net downward revision to cumulative activity in December (worse) and November (better). Overall industrial production fell 0.1% to start the year after rising 0.4% to close 2017 (previously +0.9%). Manufacturing output was unchanged for a second month in January and 0.1% was shaved off of previous estimates for the prior two months. Despite the negative revisions, 4Q17 was still one of the best quarters for manufacturing output since 2010. Capacity utilization also pulled back, but held at its second highest level since early 2015. Mining disappointed with a 1.0% drop and December’s gain was revised to down 0.4%. Utilities output rose another 0.6% after solid 4.6% result in December.