Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Industrial Output: The Latest Good News

U.S. industrial output rose sharply in April, the latest evidence that economic growth is picking up following a lackluster start to the year. Manufacturing output, the biggest component of industrial production, posted its strongest gain since early in 2014, pushing the Fed’s manufacturing index to a new post-recession high.

Industrial production—a measure of output at factories, mines and utilities—jumped 1.0 percent from a month earlier. That might not sound like much, but it was the largest gain in more than three years.

The strong showing follows a string of upbeat April indicators, including the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level since 2007, solid consumer spending gains at online sellers, restaurants and other retailers, and existing-home sales climbing at their fastest pace in a decade.

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