Manufacturing Production Expected to Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels by Year’s End
- Manufacturing production increased 0.9% in December, rising for the eighth straight month. Despite gains since the spring, manufacturing production remained 2.6% below the pre-pandemic pace in February. Overall, manufacturing production fell 6.5% on average in 2020, but output should rise by the same percentage in 2021.
- Even as capacity remained 2.3% below what was seen in February, manufacturing capacity utilization increased from 72.7% in November to 73.4% in December, the highest rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- In January, manufacturing activity expanded in the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s district for the seventh consecutive month, albeit at the slowest pace since June. Business leaders were upbeat in their outlook. Yet, input costs accelerated at the fastest rate since September 2018.
- Manufacturing job openings remained strong, despite pulling back from October’s all-time high, with 498,000 postings in the sector in November. In general, the U.S. had 1.64 unemployed workers for every one job opening.
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