Industrial Production Falls Again
July 17, 2001
As things started to look up with the U.S. economy with recent news of increased sales, lower wholesale prices, and higher consumer confidence, a Federal Reserve report released Tuesday showed there are still dark clouds on the horizon.
The central bank reported industrial production in the United States during June fell for the ninth straight month, slipping another 0.7%. That’s not the news trucking companies have been looking for, since so many manufactured goods are moved by truck.
The Fed also reported the June figure makes for the longest stretch of negative readings for industrial production in almost 20 years. Capacity in the manufacturing sector fell from 77.6% during May to 77% during June, the lowest rate since August 1983.
The decline in manufacturing output was driven by a drop in durable goods production, falling 1.2%, and a continued slide in car and truck production, including heavy trucks. The Federal Reserve noted medium and heavy duty truck production was down by more than 40 percent from June 2000. Outside of the automotive sector, production was also reported to be weak, with manufacturing of high tech goods falling by 1.6% for the month.
With this latest news, some analysts say believe the Fed is more likely to drop interest rates again when they meet Aug. 21.