US industrial production grew 1.6% in October despite problems in global supply chains

A worker scans a solar panel at a factory in Walbridge, Ohio, United States (Photo: REUTERS / Dane Rhys) (DANE RHYS /)

Industrial production in the United States increased by 1.6% in October and the rate of industrial capacity utilization was at its highest since the start of the pandemic, in a sign of the recovery of the country’s economy despite the problems in global supply chains.

This was indicated by the Federal Reserve (Fed) report, released this Tuesday, which pointed out that “almost half of the rise in October reflected the recovery after the passage of Hurricane Ida,” which caused significant damage in the northeastern United States.

Last month’s rise came after a 1.3% decline in September, and was boosted by the 1.2% increase in the manufacturing sector and 4.1% in mining production, which includes oil drilling.

Another positive element of the report is the rebound in the utilization rate of the industrial capacity in the US, which went from 75.2% in September to 76.4% in October, and stood at the highest level since December 2019. However, this indicator is still below the historical average, whose average between 1972 and 2012 was 79.6 percent.

The data showed a notable improvement, especially in the automotive sector, which went from 85.5% in September to 94.9% in October.

“Automotive production in the US is registering a gradual return as the semiconductor (shortage) problems are solved, “said Gregory Daco, chief economist at the consultancy Oxford Economics, on his Twitter account.

Since restrictions on mobility and economic activity began to be relaxed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for goods and services has experienced sudden growth, to which manufacturers and carriers have not been able to respond, which has generated a bottleneck in the US.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a mask in a grocery store corridor in Pennsylvania (Photo: REUTERS / Mark Makela)
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a mask in a grocery store corridor in Pennsylvania (Photo: REUTERS / Mark Makela) (MARK MAKELA /)

Also, this Tuesday it was known the retail sales indicator in the US, which also registered an increase of 1.7%, and that points to solid consumer spending despite inflation and persistent pandemic fears.

The latest data from the United States, the world’s leading economy, confirm the progressive recovery after the acute crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic. In October, the unemployment rate in the country fell by two tenths and stood at 4.6% of the workforce in October, the lowest level since March 2020.

In April 2020 unemployment reached 14.4% and since then the US labor market has been recovering with ups and downs for a year and a half strengthened with substantial economic stimuli provided by the Government. Even so, the rate of unemployment it remains above the 3.5% average in the months leading up to the pandemic.

The great economic concern now in the US is the persistent rise in prices.

The interannual rate of inflation soared in October to 6.2% -eight tenths above that of September- which represents the highest record of consumer prices in this country since 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(With information from EFE)

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