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U.S. manufacturing output rose for the fourth straight month  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New York, NY - Bloomberg reports that U.S. factory production rose for a fourth straight month in December, capping the strongest quarter since 2010 and underscoring a resurgence in manufacturing thatís primed for further advances, Federal Reserve data showed. The smaller-than-expected December gain in manufacturing output reflected a 0.1 percent drop in production of non-durable goods, including petroleum and chemicals. Output of durable goods rose a solid 0.3 percent. Factory output increased at a 7 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, the strongest since the second quarter of 2010. Combined with national and regional surveys of purchasing managers, the figures indicate manufacturing was robust at the end of the year. Stronger consumer spending, increased business investment and more shipments of merchandise to overseas customers are providing plenty of fuel for the nationís producers. The lowest business inventory-to-sales ratio in three years could translate into increased production in coming months. Factory output climbed 1.3 percent in 2017, the strongest annual reading in five years. The Fedís monthly data are volatile and often get revised. Manufacturing, which makes up more than 75 percent of total industrial production, accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy. It increased 2.4 percent in December from the same month a year earlier.


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