Chip shortages, Hurricane Ida depress U.S. manufacturing production

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Autonomous robots assemble an X mannequin SUV on the BMW manufacturing facility in Greer, South Carolina, U.S. November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

  • Manufacturing manufacturing falls 0.7% in September
  • Motorized vehicle output tumbles 7.2%; mining dives 2.3%
  • Industrial manufacturing drops 1.3%; utilities fall 3.6%

WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Manufacturing at U.S. factories fell by probably the most in seven months in September as an ongoing international scarcity of semiconductors depressed motorcar output, additional proof that provide constraints have been hampering financial progress.

Manufacturing manufacturing final month was additionally depressed by the lingering results of Hurricane Ida, which additionally severely disrupted output at mines. The report from the Federal Reserve on Monday adopted on the heels of information final week exhibiting a stable rise in inflation in September. Although retail gross sales rose final month, that mirrored larger costs for motor automobiles.

“Whereas the hurricane disruption and climate results will fade, labor and product shortages are nonetheless worsening, which can proceed to weigh on manufacturing output over the approaching months and quarters,” mentioned Michael Pearce, a senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in New York.

Manufacturing output dropped 0.7% final month, the most important decline since February. Knowledge for August was revised down to indicate manufacturing falling 0.4% as a substitute of rising 0.2% as beforehand reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing manufacturing edging up 0.1%.

Manufacturing at auto crops tumbled 7.2% after dropping 3.2% in August. The worldwide scarcity of microchips is forcing automakers to chop manufacturing. There may be additionally a scarcity of staff at ports, which is inflicting congestion and holding up the supply of uncooked supplies.

Excluding autos, manufacturing output dropped 0.3%. The Fed mentioned lingering results of Hurricane Ida, which devastated U.S. offshore vitality manufacturing in late August, contributed 0.3 share level to the drop in manufacturing output.

With auto and shopper vitality merchandise manufacturing tumbling, shopper items output fell 1.9% final month. There have been, nonetheless, will increase within the output of major metals and electrical gear, home equipment and parts in addition to furnishings and associated merchandise. Nondurable items manufacturing fell 1.0%, with giant decreases in chemical substances, petroleum and coal merchandise.

Total, manufacturing elevated at a 5.3% charge within the third quarter after rising at a 5.0% tempo within the second quarter. Motorized vehicle and elements manufacturing rebounded at a 8.6% charge as producers scrapped the annual plant closures for retooling over summer time to handle their chip provide. Motorized vehicle output plunged at a 24.6% tempo within the second quarter.


A scarcity of motor automobiles helped to drive up inflation in September, via very excessive costs, and flattered retail gross sales. The dearth of cars can also be irritating efforts to rebuild inventories. The mix of upper inflation, which is reducing into shopper spending, and reasonable stock construct have led economists to anticipate that financial progress slowed sharply within the third quarter.

The Atlanta Fed is estimating that gross home product progress braked to a 1.2% annualized charge final quarter. The financial system grew at a 6.7% tempo within the second quarter.

U.S. shares have been buying and selling decrease amid considerations about inflation. The greenback was regular towards a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury costs fell.

Final month’s decline in manufacturing output mixed with a 2.3% lower in mining and a 3.6% drop in utilities to drag down industrial manufacturing by 1.3%. The most important drop in industrial output in seven months adopted a 0.1% dip in August. Mining was weighed down by the aftermath of Ida, whereas demand for utilities subsided following a warmer-than-usual August.

Industrial manufacturing rose at a 4.3% charge within the July-September quarter, notching its fifth straight quarter of progress of at the least 4%.

Capability utilization for the manufacturing sector, a measure of how absolutely companies are utilizing their assets, fell 0.6 share level in September to 75.9%. Total capability use for the economic sector dropped 1.0 share level to 75.2%. It’s 4.4 share factors beneath its 1972-2020 common.

Officers on the Fed have a tendency to take a look at capability use measures for alerts of how a lot “slack” stays within the financial system — how far progress has room to run earlier than it turns into inflationary.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Enhancing by Andrea Ricci


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