Friday, April 14, 2006

Industrial production at highest levels in more than 5 years

This is great news for our economy, especially as the real estate boom has begun to slide, notably marked by the yield on the 10 year treasury note bouncing over 5% for the first time in four years.

April 14 (Bloomberg) -- Production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities grew at a faster pace last month and manufacturers were the busiest in more than five years, a Federal Reserve report showed.

The 0.6 percent increase in production followed a 0.5 percent gain in February, the Fed said in Washington. The share of industrial capacity in use rose to 81.3 percent, the highest since September 2000, from 81 percent.

This increase in production is due to increased orders for Boeing airplanes and increased automobile, auto part, electronic, and furniture production. This increase in demand has sparked increased funding for materials, including mine production, electric and gas utility output, metal works (titanium and steel), microchips, and semiconductors. While a lot of this is sparked by consumer spending thanks to low levels of unemployment (more people with jobs is more consumer spending power), much of this growth is due to corporate expansion. Business are hiring and that means they're opening the purse strings not only for salaries, but for supplies for these new employees. Not only are companies buying computers, phones, etc. for new employees, they are upgrading existing employees business equipment.

Business equipment production, which includes transportation and information processing equipment, increased 0.8 percent in February after rising 0.2 percent the previous month. Production of technology equipment, such as computers, communications gear and semiconductors, rose 2.7 percent last month, the most since August, after increasing 1 percent.

The American corporation is going to carry the economy for a while, so while many criticize huge companies, they're going to keep this economy humming right along. And just imagine what this economy could be doing with cheaper gas prices...

Almost makes you want to drill in ANWR so that we're not being held hostage by Middle East oil, don't it...