Production Headline Better Than Reality

Industrial production rose nicely in February, but the gain was primarily due to utilities having more business in February than in unseasonably-mild January.  The better gauge for month-to-month fluctuations is industrial production in the manufacturing sector:

So we have a flat month in manufacturing land.  If you’re looking for good news, high-tech activity was up a ton.  For pessimists, revel in the decline in car production.

Business Implication:  Though we have a weak month, the underlying trend has been positive.  It’s too early to hunker down, but give next month’s figure more attention.