Despite the market collapse and sinking sentiment, Industrial Production rose more than expected in December (up 0.3% vs 0.2% exp), albeit with a downward revision for November. This was driven by a 1.1% MoM surge in Manufacturing output, the most since Feb 2018
In fact, U.S. factory production expanded in December by the most in 10 months, ending the year stronger than expected thanks to a surge in motor-vehicle output and gains across a range of other goods.
The data offer some relief after recent regional and national surveys suggested a worsening outlook for factories. While manufacturing is expected to keep growing, concerns over global growth and trade-war uncertainty may limit gains in 2019.
Production of motor vehicles increased 7.5 percent, the most since June, and other sectors with solid gains included petroleum and coal products, nonmetallic mineral products and computers and electronics. Industries with declines included machinery, textile and product mills and paper.
With the mass layoffs and plant closure that have hit since, we suspect this will not continue.
Utility output fell 6.3 percent, as warmer-than-usual temperatures reduced demand for heating.
And finally, the question is – will IP catch UP to the The Dow or The Dow catch down to IP?