Output Up 0.8 Percent In December, Federal Reserve Says
According to the latest Federal Reserve data, US industrial production finished 2016 with a month of growth. As the AP reports, the Fed’s data showed that US industrial output “rose 0.8 percent last month, the largest percentage gain since November 2014.” According to the AP, the report suggests the sector “is recovering from a prolonged slump.” Reuters compares the report to a “downwardly revised 0.7 percent decline in November” and a Reuters poll showing analysts had expected a 0.6 percent rise. While noting the rise in production for December, Bloomberg News reports that the month’s output was “held back by less production of textiles and chemicals, indicating U.S. manufacturing will take time to recover.” The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey “called for a 0.4 percent advance.” Consumer durable goods output rose 1.1 percent and business equipment production climbed 0.7 percent, while capacity utilization “increased to 75.5 percent in December from 74.9 percent the prior month.” The Wall Street Journal reports that while manufacturing perked up some at the end of the year, it’s still only 0.2 percent ahead of the same time the year before.
What This Means For Small Businesses
The latest data shows that while the US economy is gaining steam, there is still room for growth. However, small business owners may be able to start 2017 with more optimism, as the data indicates that December brought an increase in momentum to the US manufacturing sector, which is key for further economic expansion.
USA Today reports on Federal Reserve comments about US economic growth in Q4 2016.
Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.