Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Both Rise for May
Industrial production rose by 0.6% in the United States in the month of May, while capacity utilization rose to 79.1%. These compare to a 0.3% drop in production and 78.6% capacity utilization in the month of April. Bloomberg was looking for a gain of 0.5% in industrial production and 78.9% in capacity utilization.
The numbers released by the Federal Reserve on Monday are better than expected, but the reality is that these just might not be anywhere enough to move the needle when you consider the geopolitical risks that just arose in the past week.
Still, equity futures have reversed their loss. The S&P 500 was up two points and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by only 10 points shortly after the release of the data. Maybe it is coincidental, but it obviously doesn't hurt.
Another consideration is that industrial production in April was at a real decline after strong gains in the prior two months. These numbers often fluctuate wildly. To prove the point: production was up 4.3% annualized in May if you compare it to May of 2013.
We are seeing a normalization after winter weather created high volatility in the first quarter.
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Filed under: Economy