U.S. Manufacturing Production Declined In January
- According to the Federal Reserve, industrial production declined 0.3 percent in January due to “unseasonably warm weather” that “held down the output of utilities” and to the fact that “a major manufacturer significantly slowed production of civilian aircraft.” Specifically, the index for manufacturing edged down 0.1 percent in January while output at utilities dropped four percent. Mining production increased 1.2 percent. Click here to read the full report.
- U.S.-manufactured goods exports declined 2.5 percent in 2019 after rising in both 2017 and 2018. Despite the decline, exports remain only 2.7 percent lower that their all-time high level, set in 2014.
- According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments in the United States was $1.461 trillion in December 2019, down 0.1 percent from November 2019, but a 1.7 percent improvement from December 2018. Inventories were $2.04 trillion, up 0.1 percent for the month and 2.2 percent year-over-year.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 4 million jobs open in the United States in December, including 360,000 in the manufacturing sector In other employment news: the number of individuals in the United States who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time rose to 205,000 for the week that ended February 8, up slightly from the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims stayed the same. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits fell to 1.698 million during the week that ended February 1 from 1.759 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also improved.
- In other economic news: the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent from December 2019 to January 2020 and 2.5 percent from January 2019 to January 2020; and the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.6 points to 104.3 in the month of January and was in the top 10 percent of all readings in the 46-year history of the survey.