US industrial production up sharply in March

Numbers: Industrial production jumped 0.9% in March, the Federal Reserve reported on Friday.

The gain was well above Wall Street expectations of a 0.4% gain, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.

Additionally, February’s gain has been revised up to 0.9% from the initial estimate of a 0.5% increase.

For the first quarter as a whole, production increased at an annual rate of 8.1%.

Capacity utilization rose to 78.3% in March from 77.7% the previous month. The capacity utilization rate reflects the operating limits of the country’s factories, mines and utilities. Economists expected a rate of 77.8%.

Key details: Motor vehicle and parts production jumped 7.8% in March.

The manufacturing sector as a whole rose 0.9% in March. For the first quarter, factory activity increased by 5.4%.

Mining extraction, which includes oil and natural gas production, rose 1.7% in March. Utilities output rose 0.4%.

Big picture: Manufacturing has been a bright spot in the US economy despite supply chain issues. Economists are watching closely to see if China’s COVID-related shutdowns will worsen existing supply issues. The gain in the mining sector in March suggests that US oil companies and shale producers are ramping up production given the high oil price.

Market reaction: DJIA US Stock,
and TMUBMUSD10Y bond markets,
were closed for the Good Friday holiday.

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