April sees increases in production and housing starts
Industrial production, utility production and housing starts all gained in April, according to several government reports released today, and each of the indicators exceeded the expectations of forecasters.
After declining 0.6 percent in March, industrial production gained 1.1 percent in April, led by increases in auto manufacturing, according to a report released from by Federal Reserve.
The increase in auto manufacturing, 0.6 percent in April, was attributed to increases in auto sales during the first quarter, the highest in four years.
Utility production increased 4.5 percent and capacity utilization – the percentage of a plant that is in production – also rose.
The Commerce Department in a joint release with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that housing starts climbed 2.6 percent in the last month to an annual rate of 717,000.
The reports released this morning led to a better start on the stock market, with the Standard & Poor 500 index up 0.47 percent.