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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press August Industrial Production: Double Dippers Get Dunked

August Industrial Production: Double Dippers Get Dunked

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Friday, 16 September 2011 14:17

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.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by urban legend, September 17, 2011 1:28
Most of the world does not live by statistics. What we hear is that manufacturing has been devastated, and most of us can see the apparent evidence in one factory parking lot after another either empty or three-fourths empty. That is the picture we have, and statistics showing growth (contrary to the picture we have, and for no apparent reason) is immediately met with a lot of skepticism. (After all, most of the statistics are revised later, often dramatically.)

Accordingly, it would be a lot more meaningful if some detail on where this growth is coming from were provided -- specific factories, products and even brands that help us form a competing picture.

Unfortunately, Democrats don't do pictures.
Sacramento Double Dipping
written by R.V. Scheide, September 18, 2011 2:39
We had an interesting double dip story in today's Sacramento Bee. The story relied on admittedly horrifying unemployment figures to suggest the dip was coming, but included no figures on GDP, which would have made the story more informative, but less supportive of the double dip hypothesis.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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