In news that manufacturing executives can count as an early holiday present, the Federal Reserve reports that manufacturing output in the United States posted the highest increase in nine months. As concerns about staffing, outsourcing and competing globally give the industry pause, the figures stand as reassurance that American manufacturing is back on track heading into 2015.
The survey found that factory production rose 1.1 percent, a huge increase over the previous month's gains, which stood at 0.4 percent. What has been described as a slow climb met its sharpest increase since early this year. Recently, the Association for Manufacturing Technology also reported that orders for the month were up, a good indicator of positive future growth of output. Effectively, the market has shown strong signs of investment and production, according to data from multiple leading surveys.
Overall, industrial production across sectors rose 1.3 percent in November, making last month the best example of industrial growth since May of 2010. The November figures significantly outpaced expert predictions according to Reuters, which expected growth to chart at 0.5 percent. Rather than growing a modest 25 percent, the manufacturing output statistic nearly tripled.
Capacity also rose in the sector, from 77.6 percent in October to 78.4 percent in November. The total industry capacity use rate reached its highest point since March 2008, at 80.1 percent. 2014 has been a strong year in reducing industrial vacancy rates, as more operations get back to work following the recession.
Increasingly, statistics paint a portrait of the manufacturing industry that reflects steady and encouraging progress. With new legislative and executive initiatives from Washington designed to bolster domestic output, both large factory operations and small machine shops stand to benefit from the momentum.