US industry barely growing

​The United States manufacturing sector appears to have slowed to only slight rate of growth, according to the Federal Reserve’s figures.

The United States manufacturing sector appears to have
slowed to only slight rate of growth, according to the Federal Reserve’s
figures.

The Wall Street Journal reports that overall industrial
production – around three quarters of which is made up by manufacturing – grew by
0.2 per cent in January.

This was
not enough to offset a decline of 0.3 per cent in December.

Reuters noted that the overall 0.2 per cent increase in industrials – including manufacturing,
utilities and mining – was “entirely” due to an uptick in utilities.

The results
“underscore what we have seen in the past couple of months from the ISM
factory index: the manufacturing sector is cooling off after an extraordinarily
robust 2014,” offered chief economist for Amherst Pierpont Securities Stephen
Stanley in a note to clients.

Capacity utilisation was steady for January at 79.4 per
cent, just below the historical average for the years 1972 to 2014.

The result follows similar indications from the ISM survey
released at the beginning of the month, which registered the slowest manufacturing performance in a year, influenced by the decline in commodity
prices.