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Attempted Recovery Short Lived


(U1) Uptrend Weakening

By Kevin Kastner
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - April industrial production fell by 0.5%, led by 
a large reversal in utilities production. There was another decline in 
manufacturing production and a rebound in mining production. 
     Here are some of the key takeaways from the data released 
     - April industrial production was well below the flat reading 
expected by both the Bloomberg and MNI surveys. March industrial 
production was revised up to a 0.2% gain from the previously announced 
0.1% decline, while February production was revised down sharply to a 
0.5% decline from 0.1% gain previous reported. 
     - Capacity utilization fell to 77.9% from a downward revised 78.5% 
in March. The Bloomberg and MNI surveys had expected a reading of 78.7% 
in April. 
     - Utilities production fell by 3.5% in April after three straight 
gains, with electricity production down 2.6% and natural gas production 
down 7.7%. The Federal Reserve noted that temperatures were 
warmer-than-normal in April cutting into heating needs, as suggested by 
an MNI preview analysis on Tuesday. 
     - Manufacturing production fell by 0.5% in April, with vehicle 
production down 2.6%. Excluding that large decline, manufacturing 
production would have been down 0.3% and overall industrial production 
would have been down 0.4%. Manufacturing production has not posted a 
monthly gain since December. 
     - Mining production rebounded by 1.6% in April after declines in 
each of the previous three months. The rebound came despite falling rig 
counts, suggesting refining drove the April increase. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **