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October 25, 2021

U.S. Industrial Production Declines Due To Supply Chain Backups

Connecting the Dots keeps an eye on all major economic announcements in the United States and Canada, but MSCI also offers several data products that provide much deeper analysis and insight. Visit our website and click on Industry Data to learn more about our Metals Activity Report, Momentum Monitors, and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker.

Here are the major headlines from the last week:

  • U.S. Industrial production fell 1.3 percent in September. Manufacturing output decreased 0.7 percent for the month due largely to a 7.2 percent drop in the production of motor vehicles and parts. The output at utilities fell 3.6 percent while mining production declined 2.3 percent. Read the full report here.
  • The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index® for the United States, a key indicator of future growth, rose 0.2 percent in September to 117.5. The Conference Board said  the reading indicated the United States is “on a more moderate growth trajectory compared to the first half of the year.”
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported last week that its index for manufacturing activity fell seven points to 23.8 in October. The volume of shipments was essentially unchanged from September while the index for new orders rose 15 points. Read the full report here.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the week that ended October 16, 2021, 290,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s level. That number was at its lowest level since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The four-week moving average of first-time claims was 319,750, a decrease of 15,250 from the previous week’s average. That reading also was at its lowest level since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500.
  • The number of new homes under construction in the United States fell 1.6 percent from August 2021 to September 2021, but was up 7.4 percent from September 2020 to September 2021; the number of existing homes sold in the United States increased seven percent from August to September, but was down 2.3 percent year-over-year; consumer prices in Canada rose 4.4 percent between September 2020 and September 2021, the fastest year-over-year rise in nearly two decades; and Canadian retail sales rose 2.1 percent to $57.2 billion in August due to improved sales at food and beverage stores, gasoline stations, and clothing and clothing accessories stores.