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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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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

January 2015 Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and Capacity

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Industrial production (IP) increased 0.2% in January (below expectations of +0.4%) after decreasing 0.3% in December. The rates of change in output for September through December were slightly reduced; even so, production is estimated to have advanced at an annual rate of 4.3% in 4Q2015. In January, manufacturing output (representing 74.3% of the IP index) moved up 0.2% and was 5.6% above its year-earlier level. The index for mining (which makes up 15.9% of the IP index) decreased 1.0%, with the decline more than accounted for by a substantial drop in the index for oil and gas well drilling and related support activities. The output of utilities (9.8% of the IP index) increased 2.3%. At 106.2% of its 2007 average, total IP in January was 4.8% above its level of a year earlier. Wood Products output jumped by 0.5% while Paper was unchanged.  
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Capacity utilization (CU) for the industrial sector was unchanged in January at 79.4%, a rate that is 0.7 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2014) average. Wood Products and Paper CU both rose by 0.1. 
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Capacity at the all-industries and manufacturing levels moved higher, both by 0.1%. Wood Products extended its ongoing upward trend (since July 2013) when increasing by 0.3%. Paper, on the other hand, contracted by 0.1% to another new low.
The foregoing comments represent the general economic views and analysis of Delphi Advisors, and are provided solely for the purpose of information, instruction and discourse. They do not constitute a solicitation or recommendation regarding any investment.

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