U.S. industrial production rose more than forecast in October, led by a jump in mining as work resumed at oil rigs in Gulf of Mexico following shutdowns caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
The 1.3 percent increase in production at factories, mines and utilities followed a revised 3.7 percent drop in September that was the biggest since 1946, the Federal Reserve said today. Excluding the effect of the storms and a strike at Boeing Co., output would have shrank about 0.7 percent in October and September, the Fed said.
Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, climbed to 76.4 percent from 75.5 percent the prior month.
I have been suggesting that September and October may have been awful in large part due to the hurricanes' effect on production, and the Administration's "Panic NOW!" demand on consumers in order to justify the Wall Street Bailout.
This is evidence that while the recession deepened, industrial production may have bungee-jumped rather than cliff-dived. We'll have to wait for November's data to get a better picture.