Although this morning's earlier housing starts report disappointed, industrial production certainly did not-coming in hotter than expected. Overall industrial production in May surged 1.2 percent, following a 0.7 percent boost the month before. The latest number was stronger than the consensus forecast for 1.0 percent.
Manufacturing has been robust over the last three months with this component gaining 0.9 percent in the two latest months and jumping 1.2 percent in March. For other sectors in May, utilities output was up 4.8 percent and mining slipped 0.2 percent.
A jump in motor vehicle production added significantly to May's overall production boost. Motor vehicle production jumped 5.5 percent, following a 1.4 percent dip in April. Nonetheless, gains were widespread in other industries.
On a year-on-year basis, industrial production improved to 7.6 percent from 5.2 percent in April.
Capacity utilization continues its upward trend, reaching the 74.7 percent mark in May from 73.7 percent the prior month. May's figure topped analysts' forecasts for 74.5 percent.
Clearly, manufacturing continues to lead the economy despite concern that exports could slow to Europe. Apparently, demand for U.S. goods remains strong domestically and in many overseas markets. On the news, equities futures and interest rates firmed. The earlier news on weak housing starts had weighed on both.
Here's a chart of the data: