October 21, 2019

Manufacturing Activity Down In United States, But Shipments In Canada Improve


  • The Federal Reserve announced last week that total industrial production in the United States fell 0.4 percent from August 2019 to September 2019, but increased at a 1.2 percent annualized rate during the third quarter of 2019. Manufacturing output fell 0.5 percent in September, due to declines in motor vehicle production, while output at utilities rose 1.4 percent and production at mines fell 1.3 percent for the month.
  • The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for the United States declined 0.1 percent in September to 111.9, following a 0.2 percent decline in August, and a 0.4 percent increase in July. Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board, said the reading declined “because of weaknesses in the manufacturing sector and the interest rate spread …”
  • According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing shipments from the country rose 0.8 percent in August after declining the two previous months (-1.3 percent in July and -1.5 percent in June). The transportation category was the main contributor to the improvement since both the motor vehicles (+2.6 percent) and aerospace (+3.9 percent) segments “saw healthy increases in shipments.”
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced that its manufacturing index fell to +5.6 in October from +11.6 in September due to a decline in shipments. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s manufacturing survey, meanwhile, rose to +4 this month from +2 in September due to a small increase in new orders and a rise in shipments.
  • In other economic news: the number of new homes under construction in the United States fell 9.4 percent from August 2019 to September 2019, but increased 1.6 percent between September 2018 and September 2019; state unemployment rates fell in seven states in September 2019 and increased in four; and the number of individuals in the United States who continued to receive unemployment benefits fell during the week that ended October 5.