Industrial production rose 1.1% in November, a much stronger gain than forecasters had expected (consensus was for 0.6% gain). The stronger gain in November to took the overall level of industrial production above 2007 highs for the first time. While Utilities helped to push industrial production upwards, the manufacturing component had a solid 0.6% gain. Capacity utilization also rose to it's highest level in over 5 years.
Two surveys were released today for December. The Empire State Manufacturing survey showed a slight improvement from November from -2.2 to 1. This would indicate that the New York manufacturing area moved from slightly contracting to slightly expanding in December. The Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI ticked down slightly from the final level in November (54.7 to 54.4).
The revised productivity release showed a stronger gain during the third quarter while the revised unit labor cost declined more for the second time in three quarters this year. Productivity was slightly above consensus at 3% annualized rate while unit labor costs came in right at consensus of -1.4% annualized rate.