Durable Goods Production Up 4.2% in December
The durable goods manufacturing industrial production index was 98.6 in December 2012. This represents a 4.2% increase over the production level of December 2011 and just a 2.1% decrease in production from December 2007, which was the last time durable goods production in December was more than it was in 2012. This is evidence that the durable goods manufacturing industry has made virtually a complete recovery since the financial crisis in late 2008.
While production levels have recovered, the rate of growth in production has been slowing down. The month-over-month rate of growth has been slowing since April 2012 while the annual rate of growth has been slowing since August 2012. A good leading indicator for durable goods production is capital goods new orders. The annual rate of growth in capital goods new orders has been slowing throughout 2012. Therefore, it looks like durable goods production will continue to grow more slowly through at least the first quarter of 2013.
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