The Federal Reserve Board released data on industrial production in August yesterday, and it was reasonably good. Manufacturing production rose by 0.5 percent following a 0.6 percent rise in July.

This is not earth shattering growth, and certainly not very good compared to the growth rates following severe downturns in the 70s and 80s, but it is clearly positive. The growth rate over the last 2 months is more than 6.0 percent at an annual rate. Even adding in the zero figure for June, we still get an annual rate of growth of almost 4.5 percent.

These data should have featured far more prominently in news reporting. There has been considerable attention to the risk that the economy is about to sink back into recession. The data from the Fed on manufacturing indicate that this important sector is still growing at a respectable pace.

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