Analysts at Nomura forecast a robust 0.7% m-o-m increase in US industrial production in March (Consensus: 0.4%), partly driven by a strong contribution from utility output.
“Output from factories excluding autos and auto parts likely rose modestly after a strong gain in February. Various manufacturing surveys point to continued expansion in activity in March, albeit at a slower pace than in February. Aggregate weekly hours worked by all ex-auto manufacturing sector workers declined somewhat but remain at an elevated level. Autos and auto parts production likely remained elevated based on industry production forecasts for March.”
“We expect a steady gain in mining sector production, driven by solid growth in oil and gas extraction and mining support sector output. Firm growth in oil production boosted partly by increases in crude oil prices earlier this year will likely continue in 2018 and poses an upside risk to oil-related sectors. In addition, the weather in March was colder than usual while it was warmer than usual in February. This swing in temperature likely spurred additional heating demand and may have led to a surge in utility output.”
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