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Domestic manufacturing’s done it again. Just as with the Labor Department’s August jobs report, the Federal Reserve’s new release on manufacturing output for the month shows that industry kept dodging whatever potholes the CCP Virus and its highly infectious Delta variant keep digging for the rest of the U.S. economy.

America-based manufacturers’ inflation-adjusted production grew by a meager 0.11 percent sequentially in August. But output was held down by facility closures forced by Hurricane Ida in the petrochemicals, plastics resins, and petroleum refining sectors. Overall revisions were mixed, but some upgrades and downgrades in individual major industries were pretty remarkable, as will be seen below.

The biggest winners in the new price-adjusted manufacturing production report were the small, catch-all “other manufacturing” category (2.42 percent); furniture and related products (up 2.07 percent); computer and electronics products (whose 1.21 percent output rise may have been a response to the worldwide shortage of semiconductors); paper (up 1.07 percent); and fabricated metal products (up 0.74 percent).

The biggest losers were electrical equipment, appliances, and components (down 1.16 percent); textiles products (down 0.81 percent on month); machinery (down 0.80 percent); and the big chemicals sector (down 0.49 percent).

Normally, the machinery results would be discouraging, since its products are used so widely both in the rest of manufacturing and also in big non-manufacturing industries like agriculture and construction. But its August dip followed a July jump of 3.31 percent – its best production improvement since January’s 4.63 percent – which was dramatically upgraded from the previously reported 1.91 percent.

The electrical equipment category followed a similar pattern. Its July real production results were revised all the way up from 2.31 percent to 3.95 percent – its best such performance since January, 2010, when the economy was still in its early bounce-back from the Great Recession that followed the global financial crisis.

Also enjoying a solid August were two narrower manufacturing categories that remain in the news due to the ongoing effects of the CCP Virus. Air travel has of course suffered throughout the pandemic-era, and aerospace manufacturing giant Boeing has been hit with numerous related manufacturing and safety problems (including some pre-dating the pandemic, like the grounding of the popular 737 Max jetliner).

Yet aircraft and parts production in constant dollars advanced by 0.34 percent in August, and in another major revision, July’s previously reported 2.78 percent increase is now pegged at 4.10 percent – its best such result since January’s 6.79 percent burst. And June’s downgraded 3.57 percent rise was bumped back up to 3.84 percent. As a result, aircraft and parts production is now 12.63 percent higher in after-inflation terms than in February, 2020 – the last full data month before the virus began significantly affecting the U.S. economy.

The pharmaceuticals and medicines sector (which includes vaccines) saw a real month-to-month production increase of 0.89 percent in August, and revisions were modest and mixed. These results left inflation-adjusted output 12.33 percent higher than its immediate pre-pandemic levels.

But August real production sank sequentially by 1.73 percent in the vital medical equipment and supplies sector – which includes virus-fighting items like face masks, protective gowns, and ventilators.

On the brighter side, July’s initially reported 1.71 percent constant dollar production rise was revised up to 2.42 percent. June’s dramatically downgraded 1.54 percent decrease was upgraded to a 0.13 percent drop, and May’s upwardly revised 1.86 percent real growth was downgraded only slightly – to 1.78 percent. Even so, on a price-adjusted basis, this crucial industry is just 2.66 percent larger than before the CCP Virus arrived in force.

Domestic industry still faces important headwinds of course – and not just from the possibility that Delta keeps worsening America’s public health and economy, and that approaching winter weather triggers a new wave of infections, hospitalizations, deaths, and restrictions. Those global supply chain snags are still with us, too.

But throughout the pandemic era, U.S.-based manufacturers have overcome obstacles just like this, and their consistent vigor indicates that it’s the pessimists about their future prospectswho now face the biggest burden of proof.