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Industrial Output Passes Prerecession Level

Wall Street Journal (12/15/14) Jeffrey Sparshott

U.S. manufacturing output has risen past its prerecession level, suggesting the U.S. economy is in good shape. Factory output rose 1.1% in November, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve, and October’s figure was upwardly revised to a 0.4% gain, putting factory output in October above the last peak seen in December 2007.

Overall industries—a category that comprises manufacturers, utilities, and mining—are working closer to full capacity than at any time in more than six years. Capacity utilization rose to 80.1% in November from a revised October reading of 79.3%. Capacity utilization now is at its highest level since March 2008 and equals its average over the past 40 years.