US manufacturing output likely increased in November

Markets Associated Press

The Federal Reserve reports on industrial production for November. The report will be released Monday at 9:15 a.m. Eastern.

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OUTPUT INCREASING: Economists expect that industrial production rose 0.7 percent in November, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet. That would be a rebound from the 0.1 percent decline in October.

GLOBAL STRESS: U.S. manufacturing faces pressures from a turbulent global economy. Japan has dipped into recession. Tepid growth has trapped much of Europe. China, the world's industrial behemoth, is trying to tighten credit and reform its opaque financial sector. The rising value of the dollar against other currencies makes U.S. products more expensive abroad, meaning that U.S. manufacturers will likely need to rely on domestic demand for growth.

The U.S. economy has thrived despite the global slowdown, but manufacturing growth has recently begun to exhibit some signs of strain.

Factory output increased a slight 0.2 percent in October, according to the previous Federal Reserve report. Gains came from the rising demand for machinery, plastics, clothing and furniture. Manufacturing production has risen 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

U.S. factory orders declined for a third consecutive month in October, the Commerce Department reported recently. Orders dropped 0.7 percent in October, indicating that factory activity may have slowed in November. That decrease would have been even more severe, if not for a 21.2 percent jump in military-based orders

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The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said that its manufacturing index fell to 58.7 in November, down from 59 in October, which had matched a three-year high reached in August. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Manufacturing activity has continued to increase in the United States, even as it struggling around the rest of the world.

Chinese factory output is barely expanding, according to a survey by the bank HSBC Corp. A leading European manufacturing index fell to 50.1 in November, the lowest in 17 months and on the edge of shrinking. Manufacturing in Brazil contracted in seven of the past eight months.

Manufacturers have added 165,000 jobs so far this year, as the auto industry has helped to both drive and reflect an improving U.S. economy. Greater demand for autos and other products have helped to insulate the U.S. economy from the global slowdown.

Motor vehicles sold in November at an annualized clip of 17.2 million, a 4.6 percent increase from the prior year, according to Autodata Corp.