Posted September 18, 2017

Industrial production declined 0.9 percent in August

Industrial production declined 0.9 percent in August following six consecutive monthly gains.

Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in late August, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly 3/4 percentage point. The index for manufacturing decreased 0.3 percent; storm-related effects appear to have reduced the rate of change in factory output in August about 3/4 percentage point. The manufacturing industries with the largest estimated storm-related effects were petroleum refining, organic chemicals, and plastics materials and resins.

A gain of 0.3 percent for durables was outweighed by decreases of 0.9 percent for both nondurables and other manufacturing (publishing and logging). Among durable manufacturing industries, the largest increase was recorded by motor vehicles and parts, which rose 2.2 percent following a drop of 4.2 percent in July. Other notable gains in durable manufacturing in August came from the indexes for primary metals and for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, each of which advanced more than 1 percent. The largest contributors to the decline in nondurable manufacturing were the indexes for chemicals and for petroleum and coal products, both of which were held down by factory shutdowns related to Hurricane Harvey.

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