Last week’s economic news was slightly disappointing, as a number of indicators missed estimates, though jobless claims fell to a 45-year low. Still, given the higher than usual number of states estimating claims, the jobless claims number is a rough estimate.
According to the Federal Reserve’s latest release, industrial production increased 0.2% in November, following an upwardly revised October at 1.2%. Manufacturing production also increased 0.2%, marking it's third consecutive monthly increase. Compared to November 2016, industrial production increased 3.4%. Excluding post-hurricane gains of 3.0% in oil and gas extraction, total industrial production would have been unchanged in November from October. November capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.1%, which is 2.8% below the long-term average from 1972 to 2016.