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Macro Pulse highlights recent activity and events expected to affect the U.S. economy over the next 24 months. While the review is of the entire U.S. economy its particular focus is on developments affecting the Forest Products industry. Everyone with a stake in any level of the sector can benefit from
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

December 2010 Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and Capacity

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Industrial production increased 0.8 percent in December after having risen 0.3 percent in November. The rate of change for industrial production was revised down in November but revised up in September and October; the net effect of the revisions from July to November left the level of industrial production in November slightly higher than was previously reported. For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent, a slower pace than in the earlier quarters of the year. In the manufacturing sector, output moved up 0.4 percent in December with gains in both durables and nondurables. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output increased 0.5 percent. The output of mines advanced 0.4 percent; the output of utilities surged 4.3 percent, as unusually cold weather boosted the demand for heating. At 94.9 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in December was 5.9 percent above its level of a year earlier. Industrial production among forest products manufacturers decreased by at least 0.5 percent in December.
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December’s all-industry capacity utilization rate rose to 76.0 percent, a rate 4.6 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009. Forest products manufacturing capacity utilization rose 0.1 percent for Wood Products, but fell 0.5 percent for Paper.
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Capacity at the all-industries level was essentially flat for a fourth month in December, but fell in both the Wood Products and Paper sectors.

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