Industrial production, the King of Coincident Indicators, increased in March by 0.9%. February was also revised higher by 0.4%, but January was revised lower by the same percentage, for a wash. Manufacturing production also increased 0.9%. Total production thus made another new record high, while manufacturing is still below its record levels of 2007 and early 2008:
On a YoY basis, total production is up 5.5%, while manufacturing is up 5.2%. Compared with the last 50 years, and particularly the last 20, this continues to be solid growth:
Of course, industrial production still lags when it is compared with either population growth or GDP growth over the past 25 years (i.e., the China shock is still very impactful).
But still, in summary, while there may be some weakening of the consumer side of the economy, as we saw with yesterday’s real retail sales number, the production side of the economy continues to perform well.