Factory Output in US Increases at Solid Pace in Broad Advance
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Output at U.S. factories solidly advanced in November, suggesting an easing in capacity constraints is helping manufacturers ramp up production.
The 0.7% increase followed an upwardly revised 1.4% jump in October, Federal Reserve data showed Dec. 16. Total industrial production, which also includes mining and utility output, rose 0.5% in November.
The November production gain at factories matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Gains in manufacturing output were widespread.
The data highlights how robust demand for consumer goods and business equipment continues to fuel the manufacturing recovery. And while materials shortages, weather events and labor constraints have all weighed on production this year, increasing capacity and steady hiring are supporting output.
Capacity utilization at factories increased in November to 77.3%, the highest since December 2018. Total industrial capacity climbed to 76.8%.
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The manufacturing output advance reflected gains in durables and nondurables. Motor vehicles contributed to the November increase, as did metals, computers, plastics, chemicals and textiles.
Recent factory surveys have pointed to some alleviation in stressed supply networks, while also indicating steady growth in orders and production.
A Philadelphia Fed survey on Dec. 16 showed a measure of factory employment growth in the region climbed to the highest in data back to 1968. New York Fed data also showed expanding manufacturing payrolls, suggesting labor capacity constrains may be easing.
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