US manufacturing gets boost from autos in June; total output flat

A woman walks past the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington DC, September 16, 2015. — Reuters pic
A woman walks past the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington DC, September 16, 2015. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, July 16 — US manufacturing jumped in June on a surge in volatile auto production but total industrial output was flat, the Federal Reserve said today.

Even with the rebound in the latest month, manufacturing has lost ground this year, hurt by the ongoing trade wars and the slowdown in China and other trading partners.

Manufacturing jumped 0.4 per cent compared to May, while total industrial production showed no change, according to the report, confounding economists’ expectations for a 0.2 per cent gain.

Manufacturing fell 2.2 per cent in the April-June period compared to the second quarter of 2018, while total output lost 1.2 per cent, in both cases the second consecutive quarterly decline, the report said.

“Manufacturing, therefore, is now in recession,” Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in an analysis before the data was released.

Motor vehicles and parts production surged 2.9 per cent from May, the second month of solid gains, which followed two months of declines.

Mining output rose 0.2 per cent, while petroleum and coal jumped 2.5 per cent. Mining surged 8.9 per cent in the latest quarter, its 11th consecutive quarterly increase.

But with milder temperatures in June easing demand for air conditioning, utilities output fell 3.6 per cent

Industrial capacity retreated after a one month bump in May, falling back to 77.9 per cent. — AFP