Data Points to Continued Manufacturing Recovery

The National Association of Manufacturers pointed to today's Federal Reserve report that overall industrial production rose 0.5 percent in June, led by a 0.6 percent rise in manufacturing output, as an indication that industry is making a recovery.

"With production expanding for a fourth consecutive month with its strongest gains of the quarter, manufacturing is on the mend," said David Huether, the NAM's chief economist.

Manufacturing production grew by 3.4 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace since the 4.4 percent growth in the third quarter of last year. Of the 19 major manufacturing industries, 14 increased production in the second quarter of this year.

"Three quarters of the manufacturing economy is on the rise," Huether said. "More importantly, a number of manufacturing industries that had been in recession are beginning to recover.

"Manufacturers of wood products, nonmetallic minerals and furniture all experienced growth in the second quarter for the first time in more than a year," he said. "Signs of life from the housing industry are an indication the downturn in residential investment may be easing."

Motor vehicle output also surged 13 percent in the second quarter, thanks to a rebound in consumer demand and solid export growth.

"While the up-tick in production has not reached all manufacturing industries, it is clear that the state of manufacturing improved significantly in the second quarter of the year," Huether said.

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