February's Industrial Production Index Increases 0.1%
IPI Increases 0.1% Despite a Dip in Manufacturing
March 15, 2010 - Industrial Production Index rose 0.1% in February, with mining and utilities surging 2.0% and 6.0% for the month. Manufacturing, which is the index's largest component, took a hefty hit after enduring several winter storms during the month. The storms decreased work hours at several Northeastern factories, but in turn, advanced both mining and utility production.
Falling 4.4% last month, the production of motor vehicles dropped severely, but fortunately a demand for computers and communications balanced numbers out. Excluding the auto sector, production increased about 0.3% for the month.
The IPI has been on the rise now for the past eight months. Now as the country transitions into warmer months, economists have a more optimistic outlook for March's manufacturing data. A boost in the manufacturing sector is likely to upturn the entire index.