Industrial production increased 0.2% in September after a steady reading during the prior month. The estimate of industrial production for August was revised down to unchanged from a 0.2% increase. Utilities production fell 1.8% in September after a 2.9% decline in the prior month. Factory production, which excludes utilities and mining, moved up 0.4% in September after a downwardly revised 0.3% increase in the prior month. Auto output rose 0.7% in September, putting the annualized third quarter increase at 21.3%. By contrast, factory output excluding autos increased 0.3% in September, which works out to a 3.3% annualized gain in the third quarter. The operating rate of the nations industries stood at 77.4% in September.
Despite the contribution of the auto sector in the third quarter, the recent trend of factory production, with and without auto sector, appears to have settled around a moderate momentum (see Chart 3).