1. Overall industrial output increased by 1.1% in April on a monthly basis, which was the largest monthly gain since a slightly higher 1.13% increase in December 2010. It was also the 11th monthly gain in the last 12 months.
2. On an annual basis, industrial production increased by 5.2%, which was the largest annual gain in more than a year. Annual increases were especially strong for business equipment (12%), motor vehicle and parts (27.1%) and manufacturing (5.8%), especially for durable manufactured goods (10.1%) and oil and gas well drilling (11.9%).
3. The Federal Reserve reported motor vehicle assemblies of 10.67 million units in April (seasonally adjusted, annual rate), which was an increase of 35% over last year, and the highest monthly number of vehicles assembled since August 2007, almost five years ago. Look for strong gains in vehicle sales to continue through the summer, and an ongoing rebound in Midwest manufacturing.
Overall, a very positive report for output at America's factories during the month of April, and more evidence that the U.S. manufacturing sector is at the forefront of the economic recovery.
Update: As Jon Murphy points out, the 1.1% monthly gain in factory output from March to April this year was the highest March-April gain since 1964.