U.S. factory output increases in second quarter

As the U.S. economy continues to improve, production has kept up the pace. According to the most recent economic data, factory output increased for the fifth straight month in June.

The Federal Reserve reports that factory production rose by 0.1 percent last month, building off a 0.4 percent increase in May. All told, the Association Press reports that during the second quarter, manufacturing output rose at the fastest pace in the past two years. Factory output rose by 6.7 percent during the quarter, which is significantly higher than the 1.4 percent increase seen in the first quarter. 

The news source notes that increased consumer activity is largely responsible for this performance. Individuals are buying cars at an increased rate, to the point where auto sales are actually at an eight-year high, while businesses are spending more on raw materials.

Of course, this is not to say that the economy is increasing at a rapid pace.

"The industrial economy is in reasonable shape but the recovery is steady rather than spectacular," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told the news source.

As a result, government estimates show that factories added 16,000 positions in June, which is the most number of new jobs in the past four months. In addition, current manufacturing workers have longer average work weeks than any time since the recession ended.

In order to continue to incentivize manufacturing growth, it is important for states to support CNC machine shops. By providing custom components to businesses as needed, these services allow smaller facilities to operate cost-effectively. Their growth will help support the manufacturing sector in the long term.