Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Industrial Output Posts Greater-Than-Anticipated Increase.

Industrial Output Posts Greater-Than-Anticipated Increase.

The New York Times /AP (11/18, B11) reports, "Industrial output posted a bigger-than-expected increase in October after plunging in September by the largest amount in more than 60 years. The Federal Reserve said Monday that industrial output rose 1.3 percent last month, reflecting a return to more normal operations after hurricanes and a strike at Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, in September." October's "rebound reflected a return to more normal operations at chemical plants, oil refineries and drilling platforms along the Gulf Coast."

The Wall Street Journal (11/18) adds, "Excluding the special factors, total industrial production was estimated to have fallen around two-thirds percent in both September and October, the Fed said. ... Separately, economists expect the overall producer price index for October to decline, while core [producer price index], which excludes volatile food and energy costs, is forecast to inch up."

Bloomberg News (11/18, Chandra) notes, "Factories are trimming production as banks restrict lending, worsening the economic slump that may be the longest in decades. A slide in overseas demand is also slowing American exports, which were helping manufacturers cushion the slide in US sales." Today's report "is one of the earliest regional takes on manufacturing this month. A report from the Philadelphia Fed, due Nov. 20, may show manufacturing in the region contracted in November for the 11th time in the last year."

The Age (11/18) points out that "the 1.3% gain wasn't enough to make up for the 3.7% September plunge," and one economist commented, "Export demand is falling apart, and domestic demand has already fallen apart. We'll stay in a recession at least until the early part of 2010." Other reports "indicate a bleak outlook for manufacturing. The Institute for Supply Management's factory index for October dropped at the fastest pace in 26 years."