US industrial production falls short of forecasts in March

16 May 2018

(Sharecast News) - US industrial production fell short of forecasts last month despite a sharp jump in the output of business equipment.
In April, total output rose by 0.7% versus the month before, according to the <em>Federal Reserve</em>.

Economists on the other hand had forecast a rise of just 0.5% month-on-month.

However, figures for December, January and February were all revised lower, partly offset by an upwards revision to data for March.

As a result, at 78.0% for April, the degree of capacity in use, one closely-followed measure of the degree of slack in the economy, fell short of economists' forecasts for a print of 78.4%.

Even so, analysts at Barclays Research said the figures were "a touch stronger" than they had expected.

In particular, at up by 0.5% month-on-month, manufacturing production beat their projection for a dip of 0.1%, although offsetting weakness in the output of utilities meant that their tracking estimate for second quarter gross domestic product was unchanged at up by 3.0%