U.S. Industrial Production Unexpectedly Increases As Manufacturing Output Rebounds

Partly reflecting a notable rebound in manufacturing output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected increase in U.S. industrial production in the month of April.

The Fed said industrial production climbed by 0.5 percent in April, while revised data showed production was unchanged in each of the two previous months.

Economists had expected industrial production to come in unchanged compared to the 0.4 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

“Industrial production came in stronger than anticipated in April but revisions to prior months temper some of our enthusiasm,” said Ryan Sweet, Chief U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

The unexpected growth came as manufacturing output jumped by 1.0 percent in April after slumping by 0.8 percent in March, bolstered by a strong gain in the output of motor vehicles and parts.

Mining output also rose by 0.6 percent in April after tumbling by 1.3 percent in March, while utilities output plunged by 3.1 percent in April after spiking by 8.4 percent in March, as milder temperatures lowered demand for heating.

The Fed also said capacity utilization in the industrial sector climbed to 79.7 percent in April from a revised 79.4 percent in March.

Economists had expected capacity utilization to edge down to 79.7 percent from the 79.8 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the manufacturing and mining sectors rose to 78.3 percent and 91.8 percent, respectively, while capacity utilization in the utilities sector fell to 72.7 percent.

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