Posted Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, at 9:19 AM
The 0.4 percent increase in September industrial production is nothing to get too excited about, but it is above expectations and I think it undermines a narrative that's been gaining force over the past several weeks about a divergence between the household sector (strong retail sales and consumer confidence numbers) and the corporate sector (weak business confidence numbers). What we see here is that on the ultimate production side indicator things are growing, just like retail sales are growing.
Economic data is full of ups and downs, but the USA is a really big country and international trade is a relatively small share of the economy. When households buy things, companies get revenue and make things but not otherwise.