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Industrial production remains healthy




April U.S. industrial production was stronger than expected, rising 5.2% above year-ago levels. We haven't seen year over year growth this fast since March of last year. As a follow-on to my post yesterday covering Eurozone industrial production, this chart compares U.S. with German industrial production. The pickup in U.S. output is welcome indeed, but it pales in comparison to the strength of German production over the past seven years. Germany has stalled for most of the past year, of course, but March gains were strong, resulting in a 12.6% annualized gain in the first quarter—thus raising hopes that Germany at least has broken free of the stagnation afflicting much of the rest of the Eurozone.


Abstracting from utility output, US manufacturing production continues to improve, having risen at a 6.9% annualized rate over the past six months.

Year over year gains in these charts are hardly what one might term "very strong," but they are healthy gains, and, perhaps more importantly, they do not show any sign of the US economic slump/double-dip recession or Eurozone contagion that has been widely expected and feared over the past 6-8 months.

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