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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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Monday, March 16, 2015

February 2015 Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and Capacity

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Industrial production (IP) increased 0.1% (+0.3% expected) in February after decreasing 0.3% in January (revised from +0.2%). In February, manufacturing output moved down 0.2%, its third consecutive monthly decline. The rates of change for the total index in January and for manufacturing in both December and January are lower than previously reported. The index for mining fell 2.5% in February; drops in the indexes for coal mining and for oil and gas well drilling and servicing primarily accounted for the decrease. The output of utilities jumped 7.3%, as especially cold temperatures drove up demand for heating. At 105.8% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in February was 3.5% above its level of a year earlier. Wood Products output dipped by 0.5% while Paper was unchanged. 
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Capacity utilization (CU) for the industrial sector decreased to 78.9% in February, a rate that is 1.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2014) average. Wood Products CU slumped by 0.9% while Paper rose by 0.2%. 
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Capacity at the all-industries and manufacturing levels moved higher, both by 0.2%. Wood Products extended its ongoing upward trend (since July 2013) when increasing by 0.4%. Paper, on the other hand, contracted by 0.2% 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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