Manufacturing production in the United States increased 1.4% in July, compared to the immediately previous month, the Federal Reserve reported on Tuesday.
Overall, the reopening is progressing rapidly in the United States despite the incipient increase in new Covid-19 cases in July.
As a whole, industrial production increased 0.9% in July after rising 0.2% in June.
About half of the gain in factory output can be attributed to an 11.2% increase for motor vehicles and parts, as several vehicle manufacturers cut or canceled their typical July shutdowns.
Despite the large increase last month, vehicle assemblies continued to be constrained by a persistent shortage of semiconductors; July motor vehicle and parts production was roughly 3-1/2% below its recent peak in January 2021.
Production of utilities decreased 2.1% in July, while the index for mining increased 1.2 percent.
Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 6.9% in the second quarter of 2021, as production increased 3.8% and hours worked decreased 2.9 percent.
Although productivity also increased in both manufacturing subsectors, these gains reflected different underlying conditions.
In the durable manufacturing sector, productivity increased 4.6%, as a 1.4% decrease in production was exceeded by a 5.7% decrease in hours worked.
In contrast, productivity in the non-durable manufacturing sector increased 7.8 percent as production (9.9%) grew faster than hours worked (2.0 percent).
Manufacturing productivity increased 6.8% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
In July, the production of durable goods advanced 2.4% in July.
In addition to the increase in motor vehicles and spare parts, machinery posted gains of 1.5% or more.
The production of non-durable goods increased 0.3 percent; the largest increases were recorded in textile and product factories and in plastic and rubber products.
At the same time, manufacturing capacity utilization increased 1.1 percentage points in July, to 76.6 percent.