US output tops forecasts
- Published: 15/03/2013 at 09:09 PM
- Online news:
WASHINGTON - Industrial production in the United States rose more than forecast in February as factories turned out more business equipment and motor vehicles, showing manufacturing is helping spur the recovering economy.
Output at factories, mines and utilities climbed 0.7%, the most in three months and exceeding the median projection in a Bloomberg survey, according to figures released by the Federal Reserve on Friday.
January production was unchanged, revised from a previously reported 0.1% drop. Manufacturing, which accounts for about 75% of all output, advanced 0.8%, the third gain in the last four months.
Resilient consumer demand, increased capital spending and lean inventories are spurring the pace of work on assembly lines at companies such as Texas Instruments Inc.
Sustained production gains will be a source of strength for the world’s largest economy that is facing the hurdle of government budget cuts.
"It looks like a pretty good quarter for manufacturing," said Michael Feroli, chief US economist at JPMorgan Chase in New York. "Capital goods are doing well, autos came back a little bit and there’s strength in consumer goods. It’s looked pretty broad-based."
February output of motor vehicles and parts increased 3.6% after a 4.9% drop a month earlier, the Fed report showed. Factory output excluding autos and parts climbed 0.6% after rising 0.1% and 1.1% in the previous two months.
Capacity utilisation increased to 79.6% in February from 79.2% a month earlier.
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Writer: Bloomberg News