Industrial production in October 2016 remained unchanged from September. Manufacturing output was up 0.2%, while the utilities index declined 2.1%. Mining rose 2.1%, its biggest gain since March 2014. Total industrial production was off 0.9% versus October 2015 while industrial capacity utilization edged down 0.1 ppt to 75.3%, a rate that is 4.7 ppts below its 1972 to 2015 average.
The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) increased 1.3 ppts in November 2016 to 53.2%, with a value above 50% signifying expansion in the manufacturing industry. November’s PMI reflects growth in 11 of 18 industries including: miscellaneous manufacturing; petroleum & coal products; computer & electronic products; chemical products; fabricated metal products; machinery; and primary metals. Six industries reporting contraction included: transportation equipment; and electrical equipment, appliances & components. Assessments from metal industry-related respondents were generally positive in November as employment picked up and order books were filled, with business conditions projected to improve in 2017.
The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 107.1 in November 2016, up 8.5 ppts from 98.6 in October. The index’s change indicates a favorable assessment of both current and short-term business conditions, as well as a slightly more optimistic outlook regarding the labor market.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in September 2016, per the full report, retreated 0.3% or $0.7 billion to $226.8 billion following a 0.2% increase in August. September shipments of manufactured durable goods climbed 0.8% or $1.8 billion to $234.3 billion, driven by shipments of transportation equipment, which were up 2.2% or $1.7 billion to $82.0 billion.
Per the second estimate, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in Q3 2016, versus 1.4% expansion in Q2 2016. Q3 growth was attributed to positive contributions from private inventory investment exports, federal government spending, smaller decreases in state and local government spending and residential fixed investment, which were partly offset by lower personal consumption expenditures and reduced nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, a detractor from GDP, increased.
In October 2016, the preliminary chemical and allied products Producer Price Index (PPI) rose to 268.7 from September’s reading of 266.9.