The new Federal Reserve industrial data revealed that real U.S manufacturing production bounced back in September from its first monthly decrease since January, but downward revisions for prior months showed that growth has been sluggish since May. In addition, the heretofore booming automotive industry experienced its first consecutive monthly inflation-adjusted production drops since November and December, 2010. Further, if automotive is stripped out, real manufacturing output is now down since the previous recession began in December, 2007.
Here are the manufacturing highlights of the Federal Reserve’s new release on September industrial production:
>This morning’s data reported that domestic manufacturing’s monthly output after inflation recovered from a downwardly revised 0.46 drop (its first since January) to a 0.47 percent increase.
>Yet downward revisions in May, June, July, September, and August, reduced domestic industry’s real output since May to a negligible 1.14 percent. Since July, this output is up only 0.32 percent.
>In addition, September’s increase combined with these revisions have left total inflation-adjusted manufacturing production just 1.31 percent higher than the level it hit when the last recession broke out, in December, 2007.
>So far, much of manufacturing’s recovery since the mid-2009 end of the recession has been led by a torrid automotive sector. Yet in September, after-inflation output of vehicles and parts makers dropped for the second straight month – its first such back-to-back decrease since November and December, 2010.
>Without the automotive sector, moreover, real manufacturing output since the recession’s onset is now down 1.42 percent.
>Further, according to the September figures, manufacturing’s year-on-year growth has now slowed since July, though it remains above even figures in the spring, following the sector’s recovery from harsh winter weather.
>September’s monthly manufacturing output gain followed an August drop revised down from 0.40 percent to 0.46 percent, a July drop revised from 0.82 percent to 0.84 percent, a June gain revised from 0.33 percent to 0.31 percent, and a May increase revised from 0.44 percent to 0.39 percent.
>Year on year, September real manufacturing production was up 4.11 percent. August’s initial 4.02 percent year-on-year gain was revised down to 3.87 percent, and July’s was revised down from 5.19 percent to 5.02 percent. The May and June figures remained roughly unchanged.
>The September figures did continue a string of 2013-14 monthly year-on-year real manufacturing output increases that have exceeded their 2012-13 counterparts. From September, 20123 to September, 2013, inflation-adjusted manufacturing production rose only 3.10 percent, and the comparable figure for August was only 1.83 percent.
>September’s monthly real automotive production decline of 1.40 percent followed a 6.93 percent August nosedive that was revised up from 7.63 percent. July’s big jump was revised up from 9.25 percent to 9.39 percent.
>September year-on-year real automotive output’s increase of 5.70 percent is down significantly from the 8.96 percent rate in August, the 21.63 percent gain in July, the 7.52 percent rise in June, and the 8.79 percent improvement in May.
>The longstanding gap between the fortunes of America’s durable and nondurable goods manufacturers remained substantial as of September, but the nondurables sector continued a recent trend of catching up.
>September real durable goods production rose 0.45 percent on month after the automotive sector led it to a 0.96 percent drop. On a year-on-year basis, inflation-adjusted durables output kept slowing gradually – from 5.80 percent in May to 5.38 percent in September.
>Since the recession’s December, 2007 onset, durable goods production is up 8.69 percent in real terms.
>Nondurable goods production followed up its 0.13 percent monthly August gain after inflation with a 0.49 percent increase – higher than the rise for durables manufacturing. And whereas durables output has been slowing on a year-on-year basis, nondurables output has been quickening – from 1.57 percent in May to 2.68 percent in September.
>Since its pre-recession July, 2007 peak, nondurable manufacturing output is still down 7.16 percent in inflation-adjusted terms.