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The Federal Reserve’s report on January industrial production is out, and it not only finally makes clear the impact on manufacturing output of Boeing’s safety woes. It also strongly suggests that whatever (mild) recession industry has experienced is now over.

I say “whatever (mild recession)….” because several official measures of manufacturing output indicate that no downturn took place at all. For example, the Commerce Department’s GDP-by-Industry data series (which gauge factory production on a quarterly basis, not a monthly basis like the Fed) shows that manufacturing’s real gross output (analogous to the Fed’s inflation-adjusted manufacturing output figures) has not declined for two consecutive quarters during the entire current economic recovery. At the same time, it has registered several two-quarter (and longer) stretches periods during which manufacturing by this measure of inflation-adjusted output fell cumulatively.

Commerce’s tables for real value-added (a measure of manufacturing production that tries to prevent counting the production of inputs both as such, and as parts, components, and materials of finished goods) do report that industry’s production dropped between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, and between the first and second quarters of this year. Cumulatively, moreover, this production level was lower in the second quarter of this year than in the third quarter of 2018 – revealing that on this basis, manufacturing suffered a three-quarter downturn.

At the same time, according to this series, both by the consecutive quarters and the cumulative methodology, the manufacturing recession ended in the third quarter, when it topped both the second quarter level and the output figure for the third quarter of 2018.

And don’t forget: According to the Fed’s real manufacturing output figures, domestic industry’s price-adjusted production peaked in December, 2007 – i.e., it’s never pulled out of the slump that began with the Great Recession. Further, as I documented last month, the Fed’s data show that within this long manufacturing recession, several shorter recessions have begun and ended by the cumulative criterion.

So that’s some of context needed for the Fed finding that after-inflation U.S. manufacturing production fell by 0.09 percent in January. That represented its first sequential decline since October, and left year-on-year production down 0.72 percent. By that standard alone, therefore, manufacturing’s recession has continued.

At the same time, industry’s constant dollar production is up since last April – by 0.70 percent. It’s also up 0.34 percent since April, 2018 – the first full month when the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports went into effect,  and signaled that the President’s tariffs-heavy approach to trade had begun in earnest.

But the Boeing effect also needs to be considered as well. January saw a nosedive in aircraft and parts production of 1.07 percent sequentially, due to the company’s December announcement that production of its flawed 737 Max model would be suspended. The drop-off was the sector’s biggest monthly decline since the nearly 24 percent plunge in recessionary September, 2008.

I’ve wondered whether Boeing’s troubles had already been dragging down manufacturing output – given the company’s huge domestic supply chain, and given that the 737s had been grounded or banned from national airspaces nearly worldwide since March. But today’s report leaves no doubt that their effects have shown up. Indeed, the Fed explicitly stated that “excluding the production of aircraft and parts, factory output advanced 0.3 percent” on month in January.

So without the Boeing effect, January manufacturing output would be up cumulatively since last February – by 1.09 percent, not by 0.70 percent. And the increase since the advent of the main Trump tariffs would have been 0.74 percent, not 0.34 percent. These figures certainly don’t reveal a manufacturing boom – or even close. But given that even after the Phase One trade deal was signed with China, tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese products remain in place (many of them levied against goods that are manufacturing inputs), they cast new doubt on how damaging the President’s trade war has been for domestic industry.

Boeing’s 737 Max crisis will end some day. But the company itself warned that it could last “several quarters” more. Moreover, Boeing’s troubles scarcely end with this ill-fated aircraft. In other words, the company’s woes will keep impacting both all U.S. manufacturing data for the foreseeable future. Therefore, it’s up to the nation’s economists and journalists (along with think tank hacks, no matter who’s funding them) to keep this in mind when judging the effect of the President’s trade wars and other economic policies. Let’s see how many can meet this challenge.