Weak showing for US manufacturing
Declines come despite competitive advantage from a weaker dollar
A strong rise in mining output (+1.6%, with oil and gas +3.8%) kept the Federal Reserve’s industrial production index flat for May, while manufacturing declined 0.4%. The three-month average for factory output is slightly down, with business equipment and autos pacing the decline.
The fact that manufacturing declined while the dollar fell sharply against the Euro and yen is not a good sign: despite a better competitive position, US manufacturers failed to participate in the world trade recovery.
Credit problems for auto buyers probably impacted auto production, and uncertainty about the Trump administration’s tax program probably caused delays in capital investment decisions. Overall, a very weak showing.