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January 14, 2005

Industrial Output Surges, Inflation Flat

GNFA-- Good news from America:

U.S. industrial output grew strongly last month while producer prices fell at the sharpest rate in 1-1/2 years amid tumbling energy prices, according to reports suggesting healthy, noninflationary growth.

U.S. factories, mines and utilities boosted production by a more-than-expected 0.8 percent in December, leading to a 4.1 percent gain for all of 2004, the best annual showing in four years, a Federal Reserve (news - web sites) report showed on Friday.

Remember: worst economy since Hoover.

Separately, the Labor Department (news - web sites) said producer prices dropped 0.7 percent last month, a sharper-than-expected decline and the biggest since April 2003. Prices were also well contained when excluding volatile food and energy costs, with the core producer price index advancing a mild 0.1 percent.


"It looks like the economy is still quite healthy and the Fed is probably following the appropriate course," said Gary Thayer, chief economist at A.G. Edwards and Sons in St. Louis. "The economy doesn't need low interest rates."


The Fed's report on output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities showed shrinking economic slack.

The production ramp-up, which handily outstripped Wall Street's expectations for a 0.4 percent rise, led producers to tap 79.2 percent of their productive capacity, the most since January 2001, shortly before the economy fell into recession. Analysts had expected a figure of just 78.9 percent.

Ride, Vinny, Ride!

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posted by Ace at 01:25 PM

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