Industrial production moved up 1.3% in November 2014. Manufacturing output gained 1.1% in November while mining production declined 0.1%. Utilities output climbed 5.1% in response to colder weather and rising heating demand. Total capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.8 percentage point (ppt) to 80.1% in November, which is equal to its 1972 to 2012 average, but 5.2% above its level from the prior year.
The Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) for November 2014 decreased 0.3 ppts to 58.7%. Readings above 50 signify expansion in the manufacturing industry. Business conditions remain generally positive, and managers continue to report that demand and production schedules are strong. The November PMI reflects expansion in 14 of 18 manufacturing industries including primary metals; fabricated metal products; electrical equipment, appliances & components; petroleum & coal products; machinery; miscellaneous manufacturing; and transportation equipment.
The Consumer Confidence Index reversed course in November 2014, falling 5.4 ppts to 88.7 after October’s increase. Consumers’ short-term outlook on the economy, business conditions and the job market worsened, while expectations regarding earnings potential were unchanged.
Per the advance report, new orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.4% or $1.0 billion in October 2014 to $243.8 billion, after September’s 1.3% decline. New orders for commercial aircraft and other transportation equipment in October rebounded 3.4% or $2.5 billion, to a total of $76.3 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods in October gained 0.1% or $0.3 billion, to $246.5 billion after September’s 0.3% improvement.
Per the second estimate, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.9% in Q3 2014 compared to the 4.6% growth in Q2 2014. Q3 2014 gains were attributed to improvements in personal consumption expenditures, exports, residential/nonresidential fixed investments, and state and federal government spending as well as lower imports.
In November 2014, the chemical and allied products PPI decreased to 280.3 from October’s reading of 283.9.