Thursday, June 17, 2004
Industrial Production Surged Last Month
Confirming recent progress in the manufacturing sector flying in the face of John Kerry's pessimism and misery tour, industrial production surged 1.1 percent last month:
Output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities surged in May, posting its biggest gain in almost six years, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.
The Fed said industrial production rose a larger-than-expected 1.1 percent in May after a 0.8 percent gain in April. The May increase was the biggest since a 2.0 percent rise in August 1998.
While the Fed said "unseasonably warm weather" caused utilities output to surge, the gain in overall production was broad-based and reflected the continued revival in the U.S. factory sector, which began declining ahead of the 2001 recession.
"The numbers show the manufacturing sector has very solid forward momentum," said Anthony Karydakis, senior financial economist with Banc One Capital Markets in Chicago.