Despite Utilities soaring 4.1%, the Federal Reserve “blames” the worst miss (and biggest drop) in Industrial Production since August 2012 on “severe weather” in some regions of the country. Capacity Utilization also tumbled – to its lowest since October. Numbers for November and December’s exuberance were revised lower in both series (that must be the weather effect being anticipated that weather would be bad in January!?!). There were 6 mentions of the word ‘weather’ in the report (just missing out of Deutsche’s Lavorgna with 8 yeaterday) as any weakness in macro data is due to unforeseeable events (weather in Winter) but any surprising beat is due to solid fundamentals underlying the real economy.
Of course the plunge in Industrial Production would have nothing to do with the near-record levels of inventories in channel-stuffed over-laden mal-invested auto makers?…
From The Fed,
Industrial production decreased 0.3 percent in January after having risen 0.3 percent in December. In January, manufacturing output fell 0.8 percent, partly because of the severe weather that curtailed production in some regions of the country
The severe weather in January contributed to a decrease of 0.8 percent for manufacturing production. Output had risen in each of the previous five months, though the rates of increase for October through December are now reported to be slower than previously stated: Steel, semiconductors, motor vehicles, and organic chemicals made the largest contributions to the downward revision for the fourth quarter. The level of factory output in January was 1.3 percent above its year-earlier level.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing moved down 0.7 percentage point in January to 76.0 percent, a rate 2.7 percentage points below its long-run average.