U.S. industrial output remained unchanged in October, following a drop for the first time in September since the recession ended in June 2009, Federal Reserve data showed on Tuesday.
Markets had expected the production in the nation’s factories, mines and utilities to rebound by 0.3 percent in October after falling 0.2 percent in September.
Capacity utilization, a measure of how fully firms employ their resources, also remained flat at 74.8 percent in October. The market consensus was 74.9 percent.
However, the capacity utilization stood 6.6 percentage points above the low in June 2009 and 5.8 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.
Manufacturing sector output rose 0.5 percent in October from an upwardly revised 0.1 percent increase in September, the data showed. Initially, the Federal Reserve reported 0.2 percent decrease in manufacturing output for September. Motor vehicles output rose 1.6 percent in October.
“After almost completely petering out over the past few months, October's US industrial production data suggest that the manufacturing recovery may be gathering momentum again, driven by demand for business equipment,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist with Capital Economics.
Business equipment production continued to rise in October, up 1.1 percent. On annual basis, the output increased by 10.4 percent.
While production at utilities fell by 3.4 percent in October as unseasonably warm temperatures reduced demand for heating, output at mines fell 0.1 percent.
Consumer goods production was unchanged in October after witnessing a fall in the previous two months. Production of business supplies fell by 0.8 percent on monthly basis.
“That suggests we will see continued strong growth in business investment in the fourth quarter, offsetting further weakness in consumption and possibly a negative contribution to GDP growth from inventories,” said Ashworth. Overall, this report adds to the evidence from October's employment and retail sales reports that after a pretty disappointing summer, the economic recovery might be picking up a little.