Bloomberg News (2/16, Willis) reports, “Factories in the US boosted production in January, capping the biggest back-to-back increases in more than two years, showing manufacturing will remain at the forefront of the expansion.”
The AP (2/16) reports, “The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that manufacturing production increased 0.7 percent in January. And output soared 1.5 percent in December, according to an upward revision.” That is the largest one-month gain since December 2006.
IndustryWeek (2/16) reports, “The production of durable goods advanced 1.8% in January with output of motor vehicles and parts increasing 6.8% following an upwardly revised increase of 3.8% in December. In January, gains of more than 1% were recorded for fabricated metal products; machinery; computer and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; furniture and related products; and miscellaneous manufacturing. The output of aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment edged up 0.1%, while production decreased for wood products, nonmetallic mineral products, and primary metals.”
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BBC News (2/16) reports, “Economists say the manufacturing figures are further evidence
that the US economy is picking up. ‘Some encouragement can be taken from the sharp upward revision to the performance in December, which underscores the turnaround in US economic fortunes in recent months.’ said Millan Mulraine, from TD Securities in New York.”
Also covering the story are the Wall Street Journal (2/16, Madigan), Reuters (2/16), the UK’s Daily Telegraph (2/16, Rowley), the Financial Times (2/15, Raval, Subscription Publication) and other media sources.
Bloomberg News (2/16, Kowalski) reports, “Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2010, a sign factories are propelling the expansion. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index increased to 19.5 this month from 13.5 in January.”
The Central New York Business Journal (2/16, Seltzer) reports, “Among survey respondents, 31.6 percent said conditions improved in February, while 12.1 percent said they worsened. The remaining 56.3 percent of respondents said conditions remained the same as in January.”
The Albany Business Review (2/16, Subscription Publication) reports, “The survey also showed that the new orders index, at 9.7, was positive but down slightly, and the shipments index was little changed at 22.8. The prices paid index held steady at 25.9, while the prices received index fell eight points to 15.3, suggesting that selling prices rose at a slower pace.”
Reuters (2/16, Schnurr) also covers the story.
The AP (2/16) reports, “Manufacturers have been hiring more consistently than other employers, for jobs with better-than-average pay. They just had their best month of growth in five years.” No one believes “manufacturing will return to its 1950s peak. After all, the factory sector now makes up barely one-tenth of the economy.” However, “since the recession ended more than 2½ years ago, factories have been contributing disproportionately to the recovery in hiring and the overall economy.”
From SME Daily Executive Briefing 2/16/2012