Thursday, July 2nd17.5°C
25016
26754

US factory output fell 0.8 per cent in January; autos, appliances and furniture decline

WASHINGTON - Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production

The Federal Reserve said factory production plunged 0.8 per cent in January, reversing gains of 0.3 per cent in both December and November. Automakers lost days of production because of snowstorms, as their production plummeted 5.1 per cent, the report said.

Factory output rose a modest 1.3 per cent over the past 12 months.

Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, fell 0.3 per cent in January. Output for utilities rose 4.1 per cent last month as the freezing temperatures boosted heating demand.

Factories responded to the weather by running at a lower 76 per cent capacity, a 0.7 percentage point drop over the month and 2.7 percentage points below the long-run average.

The repeated battery of winter storms has slowed down the pace of economic growth, ending momentum that has boosted gross domestic product in the second half of last year. Cold weather last month delayed shipments of raw materials and caused some factories to shut down.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported earlier this month that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in December. It was the lowest reading since May, although any reading above 50 signals growth.

Factory orders also fell 1.5 per cent in December, according to the Commerce Department. That could have contributed to less output in January.

The figures suggest that U.S. manufacturing is slowing after strong gains at the end of last year. Auto sales approached 15.6 million last year but buying has since decelerated. Businesses are spending cautiously on machinery and other large factory goods. The slowdown means that economic growth in the first three months of this year will probably come in significantly below the strong 3.6 per cent annual pace in the second half of 2013.

The economic forecaster Macroeconomic Advisers projected Thursday that growth this quarter would be 1.7 per cent.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14553.33+63.18
S&P CDNX671.49+4.40
DJIA17757.91+138.40
Nasdaq5013.12+26.26
S&P 5002077.42+14.31
CDN Dollar0.7933-0.0012
Gold1163.00-6.00
Oil57.88+0.18
Lumber288.90+0.60
Natural Gas2.81+0.03

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.16-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.52-0.01
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.451+0.001
Metalex Ventures0.075+0.010
Russel Metals22.73+0.05
Copper Mountain Mining1.16-0.01
Colorado Resources0.08-0.02
ReliaBrand Inc0.006-0.000
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.185+0.015
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.50+0.42

 





FEATURED Property
2222017619 Denali Drive
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$1,149,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Active listening

Has this ever happened to you? You had an initial meeting with a prospect. You asked that prospect what seemed to be all the right questions. You had what felt to you like a good conversation, and bas...


The price of money

Money is not a commodity. By definition, a commodity is a generic product that is bought and sold on price alone. Money, Canadian bills for example, look the same, smell somewhat the same, and are ava...


TFSA strategies

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe federal government has increased the annual contribution limit of Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) to $10,000. Going forward, the annual limit will no longer be indexed to inf...

_



26370




Member of BC Press Council


25831