Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 18. March 2014

Durable Goods Production at 5th Highest Level Ever

According to the Federal Reserve, the durable goods industrial production index was 105.1 in February 2014. This the fifth highest level of durable goods production in the history of the country. And, it is the 14th consecutive month that the durable goods production index has set a record high for the given month. The month-over-month rate of change was 3.1%, which is pretty close to the historical average rate of monthly growth. The annual rate of change was 3.7%, which was virtually unchanged from the previous two months. In fact, the rate of growth has hardly changed at all since August 2013 when it was 4.0%.

One of the best leading indicators for durable goods production is capital goods new orders. Capital goods new orders were flat or growing in four of the last six months. The annual rate of change has generally been growing faster since August 2013. Another good leading indicator for durable goods production is the backlog index from our Metalworking Business Index. The rate of change in backlogs is indicating significantly faster growth in durable goods production in the upcoming months.

We track industrial production and its leading indicators for a number of industries. Click on the links below to see how each industry is faring.

Accelerating Growth: electronics, computers, and telecommunications; furniture manufacturing; industrial motors, hydraulics and mechanical componentsmachinery and equipmentmetalcutting job shops; military; oil, gas-field, and mining machinerypetrochemical processorspower generation; printing; ship building

Decelerating Growth: aerospace; appliancesautomotiveconstruction materialscustom processorsdurable goods; food and beverage processingforming and fabricating (non-auto)hardware; HVAC; medical; plastics and rubberpumps, valves, and plumbing productswood and paper products

Accelerating Contraction: off-road and construction machinery

Decelerating Contraction: primary metals; textiles, clothing and leather goods

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