Production Up, But is it Enough?

Federal Reserve statistics unveiled Tuesday indicate industrial production increased in June following a stagnant May. However, only a few industries really have room for celebration.

The Fed noted industrial production saw a 0.3% uptick last month and, for the quarter, saw an annual rate increase of 0.6%. Total production on a year-over-year level, was up 2%, and remains short of the average in 2007, when the economy started its well-documented fall into recession.

Within the numbers consumer goods flipped from a slight decrease in May to an increase in June (0.5%). However, this area seemed to be carried somewhat by bigger gains in automotive products (1.4%) and consumer electronics (2.2%). The Fed index tracking business equipment production rose 0.5% after slight decreases in the previous two months. Non-durable goods appear to be slumping, according to the Fed research.

In short, while a badly needed gain was noted, the statistics provided an all too familiar murky picture: one where growth is only slightly better than anemic, yet one that does not foreshadow another slide into recession territory.

-Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer

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