The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Maureen Bozlinski
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
mbozlinksi@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Factory production rises 0.3 percent

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
Published:
WASHINGTON -- U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.
Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.
Overall industrial production fell 0.1 percent after a 0.7 percent September gain. The mining sector, which includes oil and gas drilling, declined 1.6 percent after six months of gains. Utility output fell 1.1 percent.
Manufacturing has been gaining strength in recent months. Output has risen in five of the past six months. And factories have stepped up hiring over the past three months, according to the government's October employment report released last week.
Factories are busier in part because overseas growth has picked up and the housing recovery has driven more demand for furniture and other wood products. Automakers are also having their best year for sales since the recession, although production of motor vehicles and parts fell 1.3 percent in October after two months of gains.
Output of primary metals such as steel rose 1.1 percent and furniture production was up 1.5 percent.
Economists were encouraged by the gains in manufacturing after a period of weakness in the spring and early summer. They predicted those increases would continue, helped by strengthening overseas demand and less impact from federal government spending cuts and tax increases.
"As long as the overseas recovery continues and the domestic fiscal drag fades, output should continue to grow at reasonable rates," said Paul Dales senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
The government report was the latest sign of strength for manufacturing. A private sector report from the Institute for Supply Management showed factory activity climbed to a 2 year high in October. The group's manufacturing index has risen for five straight months. The October gain was especially encouraging because it showed the federal government's 16-day partial shutdown had little effect on manufacturers.
The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the July-September quarter. But 0.8 percentage point of that growth came from a buildup in business stockpiles. Many economists believe businesses will cut back on stockpiling in the current October-December period and that will slow growth.
Manufacturers are hoping that rising export sales will offset weakness in domestic demand.
Through the first nine months this year, exports are up a modest 1 percent. U.S. companies have had to deal with weakness in Europe, which has cut into sales in that important market.

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup