USA: industrial production

  • Industrial production rose by a strong 0.8% m-o-m in March, above consensus estimates (+0.6%). Moreover, the February reading was revised from -0.1% to +0.1%. However, January’s figure was revised from +0.3% to +0.1%.
  • The positive surprise in the headline figure was partly due to a strong rebound in production of utilities: +1.7% m-o-m, following a heavy fall of 3.6% m-o-m in February.
  • The usually less volatile manufacturing part of production also rose strongly: +0.7% m-o-m in March, following an upwardly revised +0.6% in February. As a result, manufacturing production grew by a very strong 9.1% q-o-q annualised in Q1, a much higher rate than q-o-q in Q4 (+3.5%), clearly confirming that growth in manufacturing has picked up significantly over the past few months.
  • Based on historical comparisons (see chart below), this kind of growth is roughly compatible with GDP growing by some 5¾%, which is well above our expectation for GDP growth in Q1 (2¾%).

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