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Industrial Production, Retail Sales Rise

Industrial production inched up in December, according to the Federal Reserve.

What’s going on: The volume of goods produced by manufacturers increased 0.1% last month, down from a 0.2% gain in November.

Durable vs. nondurable: Nondurable goods production rose 0.6% in December, but the production of durable goods declined 0.4%.

  • Year-over-year, manufacturing production has increased just 1.2% since December 2022.
  • Manufacturing capacity utilization—a measurement of potential output—stayed the same, at 77.1%.

The last word: “Overall, manufacturers remain challenged, with output down 1.7% since its recent peak in April 2022,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. However, “on a year-over-year basis, nine sectors experienced growth in manufacturing production.”

  • These include petroleum and coal goods (up 8.0%), computer and electronic products (up 7.9%), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (up 5.4%), motor vehicles and parts (up 4.8%), chemicals (up 4.8%) and primary metals (up 4.2%), among others.

In related news: Retail sales also increased in December—up 0.6%—according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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