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US industrial production still showing healthy growth [ClearOnMoney]
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US industrial production still showing healthy growth

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Commentary

US industrial production still showing healthy growth

15 Aug 2012 by Jim Fickett.

US industrial production showed year-over-year growth of 4.4% as of July, compared to an historical average of 3.3%. Industrial production is the main indicator to watch for this sector of the economy. Some are unduly concerned with factory orders but, although you would think orders would be a leading indicator for production, they are not.

Today the Federal Reserve reported industrial production figures through July. Industrial production continues in a normal upward trend (despite ECRI's assertion that it is “rolling over”; see Doug Short's commentary on that one):

The year-over-year change is less noisy than the level, and gives a good indication of the growth trend. Year-over-year growth stands at 4.4%, well above the long-term average of 3.3%.

Many people assume factory orders lead actual production (see for example Hussman's latest commentary). But this is to confuse what you think the data ought to show with what it actually does show. In fact, factory orders are usually coincident, occasionally lead, and occasionally lag, and so actual production is the one to watch: Industrial production is the key manufacturing indicator.