For August 2015, industrial production dipped 0.2% following a 0.1% decrease in August. Manufacturing output declined 0.1% for a second consecutive month. The mining index decreased 2.0%, whereas utilities output climbed 1.3%. Total industrial production in September 2015 was 0.4% above levels in the same month a year prior, while industrial capacity utilization slid 0.3 percentage points (ppts) to 77.5%, which is 2.6 ppts below its 1972 to 2014 average.
The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) declined 0.1 ppts in October to 50.1%, with a value above 50 signifying expansion in the manufacturing industry. October’s PMI reflects growth within seven industries, including miscellaneous manufacturing and fabricated metal products. Nine industries reported a decrease such as transportation equipment, primary metals and machinery. Respondent reports are mixed. The machinery sector has noted a slight slowdown in business whereas fabricated metal products have experienced an uptick in demand.
The Consumer Confidence Index decreased to 97.6 in October from 102.6 in September 2015. Consumers were less positive in their assessment of the job market and do not anticipate the economy gaining strength in the near term. Despite the decline, consumers still rate current conditions somewhat favorably.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in September 2015 fell for the second consecutive month, slipping 1.2% or $2.8 billion to $231.2 billion. Transportation equipment also retreated for the second straight month, leading the decline with a 3.1% drop or $2.4 billion to $75.3 billion. September’s shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 0.1% or $0.2 billion to $242.2 billion, following August’s 0.5% dip.
Per the advance estimate, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.5% in Q3 2015, versus 3.9% growth in Q2 2015. Positive contributions came from personal consumption expenditures, as well as state and local government spending. The deceleration in Q3 GDP reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and exports amid rising import levels.
In September 2015, the chemical and allied products PPI decreased to 264.8 from August’s reading of 269.2.