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Industrial production continues to expand




U.S. industrial production rose a bit more than expected in February, overcoming weather-related difficulties and Toyota recalls. More importantly, however, the recovery in U.S. industrial output comes against a backdrop of a global recovery, as reflected in this chart. There is still plenty of room for improvement before production reaches the highs of 2008, but there are few if any roadblocks for the attainment of this goal. It's likely therefore that industrial production will continue to expand for the foreseeable future. It's nice also that the latest production numbers from Europe reflect a pickup in the pace of growth in recent months, whereas earlier estimates suggested a slower recovery. Japanese industrial production has virtually exploded, surging 32.5% in the past year. Expanding global output is also reflected in industrial commodity prices, which continue to set new highs after slumping in 2008.

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