The Federal Reserve released data today on U.S. industrial production for the month of September with the following highlights:
1. Industrial production increased in September by 0.2% on a monthly basis and 3.2% on an annual basis.
2. For the third quarter (July-September) industrial production increased an annual rate of 5.1%.
3. Manufacturing output increased 0.4% in September to a level that was 3.9% higher than a year ago.
4. The output of manufactured durable goods increased 0.6% in September to 7.9% above its year-earlier level.
5. Mining output increased by 0.8% in September to 5.2% above its year-ago level.
6. The September industrial production index at 94.2 is 12.8% above the cyclical low in June 2009 of 83.5, and is 6.4% below the cyclical high of 100.7 in December 2007 (see chart above).
On an annual basis, the 3.2% growth in industrial production through September is above the 2.2% average growth rate since 1973, and the 3.9% growth in manufacturing output is above its 2.6% average rate. The above-average growth in industrial output through the third quarter this year runs counter to the claims that we are entering another recession.