October 17, 2018
The Federal Reserve reported that industrial output in the United States rose again in September by 0.3%, the the fourth straight increase. The latest uptick came despite the arrival of Hurricane Florence, which reduced September output growth by less than 0.1 percentage points, and follows a 0.4% increase in August.
The September numbers were higher than economists expected, and was boosted by gains in manufacturing and mining output, though momentum slowed sharply in Q3. The largest increases were posted by motor vehicles and parts, wood products, and primary metals, while the only sizable decline was recorded by nonmetallic mineral products. Industrial production has risen 5.1% over the past year.
The overall economic picture was bright, as well. Growth accelerated at its fastest pace in nearly four years, reaching 4.2% from April through June.
Meanwhile, on the jobs front, the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped to 3.7%, the lowest it has been since 1969. The Labor department reported Tuesday August job openings hit a record high 7.1 million, far outpacing a rise in hiring.
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