Durable Manufacturing Leads the U.S. Economy
| Jan. 2011 to |
|Total Industrial Production||3.4%|
|a. Durable manufacturing||8.3%|
|Nonmetallic mineral products||4.1%|
|Fabricated metal products||9.4%|
|Computer and electronic products||4.5%|
|Electrical equip., appliances,||0.3%|
|Motor vehicles and parts||16.9%|
|Furniture and related products||5.2%|
|b. Nondurable manufacturing||1.1%|
|Food, beverage, and tobacco products||-0.6%|
|Textile and product mills||6.1%|
|Apparel and leather||-0.4%|
|Printing and support||-0.1%|
|Petroleum and coal products||5.7%|
|Plastics and rubber products||2.7%|
|b. Natural gas||-15.2%|
The chart above is based on data from Table 1 in today's industrial production report from the Federal Reserve, and shows annual percentage gains through January by industry group (manufacturing, mining and utilities and sub-groups within those three main categories). The annual growth in manufacturing output at 4.5% was more than a full percentage point higher than the overall growth in industrial production of 3.4% (which includes mining, manufacturing and utilities). And the durable manufacturing group showed an especially strong annual gain of 8.3%, almost twice the growth rate of total manufacturing, and was led by strong output growth in the industry groups: motor vehicles (16.9%), aerospace equipment (13.3%), fabricated metal products (9.4%) and machinery (8.2%).
The chart also shows utility output (electric and natural gas) decreased sharply, due to the unseasonably warm winter this year. Nondurable manufacturing increased by only 1.1% overall, but there were some strong gains within that category for petroleum and coal production at 5.7% and textiles at 6.1%.
A Reuters article on today's Fed report commented that "Manufacturing remains the main pillar of the economy," and it's true that today's industrial production report provides further confirmation that American manufacturing is at the forefront of the economic recovery.