If real retail sales (reported on in the prior post) is the best proxy for the health of the consumer, Industrial production, the King of Coincident Indicators, is the same for production.
And the news there was also very good. Overall production rose 0.9% in December, and the manufacturing component rose 1.0%. As a result, overall production is only -1.9% below its level just before the pandemic hit last February, while manufacturing is only down -0.8% since then:
At the current pace, manufacturing should be *up* YoY in one month, and overall production in two.
Manufacturing, along with housing, has been the best sector of the economy since the bottom of the pandemic recession last April. It continues on a very good trajectory now. As I mentioned earlier with retail sales, this is more evidence of an economy primed to soar once the pandemic is under control.