Industrial production for June 2014 increased 0.2% and 5.5% for Q2 2014. Factory output in June rose 0.1% along with mining production, which strengthened 0.08%. Utilities output, however, decreased 0.3%. Total industry capacity utilization was flat at 79.1% in June, which is 1.0 percentage point (ppt) under its 1972–2012 average, but 4.3 ppts above its level from the prior year.
The Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) for July 2014 advanced 1.8 ppts to 57.1%. Readings above 50 signify expansion in the manufacturing industry, and July 2014 was the fourteenth consecutive month of growth. Managers are reporting that business conditions are favorable and business activity is steady. The July 2014 report reflects growth in 17 of 18 manufacturing industries including petroleum & coal; primary metals; fabricated metal products; computer & electronic products; chemical products; plastic & rubber products; miscellaneous manufacturing; electrical equipment, appliances & components; transportation equipment; and machinery.
Following June's improvement, the Consumer Confidence Index advanced to 90.9 in July 2014 from the previous month’s revised reading of 86.4. This marks the highest level since October 2007. Consumer assessments of business conditions continue to be generally optimistic, as are short-term outlooks for the economy and job availability.
Per the advanced report, new orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.7% or $1.8 billion in June 2014 to $239.9 billion, after May’s 1.0% loss. June’s shipments of manufactured durable goods were up 0.1% or $0.3 billion, to $238.2 billion following a slight decrease in May. New orders for transportation equipment in June rebounded 0.7% or $0.5 billion to a total of $70.2 billion, after two consecutive monthly declines.
Per the advance estimate, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.0% in Q2 2014 compared to a 2.1% contraction in Q1 2014. Q2 2014 gains were attributed to improvements in personal consumption expenditures, residential/nonresidential fixed investments, and state and federal government spending.
In June 2014, the chemical and allied products PPI increased to 281.1 from May’s reading of 280.5.