Best monthly industrial output in two years recorded

Sat, Dec 15, 2012, 00:00

Industrial production jumped in November by the most in two years as US manufacturers begin to rebound from the damage inflicted by superstorm Sandy.

Output at factories, mines and utilities increased 1.1 per cent last month, the most since December 2010, after a 0.7 per cent drop in October that was larger than previously estimated, the Federal Reserve reported yesterday in Washington.

Other data showed consumer prices fell last month as fuel costs retreated. Manufacturing, which stumbled in the second half of the year, is stabilising as housing recovers, car sales improve and growth in countries such as China shows signs of picking up.

The deadlock over the federal budget remains a hurdle for American factories as a failure to avert tax increases and spending cuts is projected to trigger a recession in world’s largest economy.

“The outlook for the back half of 2013 is actually not that bad” as long a budget deal is reached, said Carl Riccadonna, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York, one of the top industrial-production forecasters over the past two years, according to Bloomberg rankings. – (Bloomberg)