U.S. industrial production bounces back, rises 1.1% in November

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GM workers went on a nationwide strike, the first since 2007 at the Big 3 automaker. Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors

Industrial production in the U.S. moved in a positive direction in November, aided in part by the end of the nationwide strike at General Motors that spanned over September-October.

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According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monthly industrial production index, production gained in November after falling in three of the previous four months (production increased 0.8% in August).

The industrial production index reached a value of 109.2 in November (a value of 100 is equivalent to industrial production levels in 2012). The index bounced back from the September value of 108.5.

“These sharp November increases were largely due to a bounceback in the output of motor vehicles and parts following the end of a strike at a major manufacturer,” the Fed said in a release. “Excluding motor vehicles and parts, the indexes for total industrial production and for manufacturing moved up 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Mining production edged down 0.2 percent, while the output of utilities increased 2.9 percent.”

By market group, manufacturing production jumped 1.1% in November from the previous month, while durables increased 2.2%.

Meanwhile, the “indexes for primary metals and for computer and electronic products advanced 1 percent or more, while the indexes for nonmetallic mineral products, furniture and related products, and machinery declined modestly,” according to the Fed.

The news come amid encouraging developments on the trade front.

Last week, the U.S. and China announced they had reached an agreement in principle on a “phase one” deal, one that would see the U.S. pull back $160 billion in tariffs in exchange for increased purchases of U.S. agricultural goods by China.

Meanwhile, the White House and House Democrats also reached an agreement regarding revisions to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the proposed successor to the 1990s-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Both deals have yet to be finalized, however. (For further commentary on recent trade developments, read Don Hauser’s article published earlier this week.)

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