US Manufacturing Output Hit by Weak Auto Sector

U.S. manufacturing output was unchanged in March after two straight monthly declines, leading to the largest quarterly decrease in production since 2017.

The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday manufacturing production last month was restrained by weak motor vehicle output. Data for February was revised up to show output at factories falling 0.3 percent instead of declining 0.4 percent as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output edging up 0.1 percent in March. Production at factories dropped at a 1.1 percent annualized rate in the first quarter. That was the first quarterly drop since the third quarter of 2017 and followed a 1.7 percent pace of increase in the October-December period.

Motor vehicles and parts production dropped 2.5 percent last month after increasing 2.3 percent in February. An inventory overhang in the automobile sector is weighing on production, contributing to factory employment declining in March for the first time since July 2017.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza