After having declined 0.3 percent in July, the output of consumer goods rose 0.5 percent in August; production in the durable and nondurable goods sectors posted comparable gains.
The output of nondurable goods materials dropped 0.2 percent, continuing the sluggish pattern that has been evident this year.
The production of consumer goods remained flat, as declines of 0.4 percent in the output of durable consumer goods and of non-energy nondurable goods were offset by an increase of 3.3 percent in the output of energy goods, most notably sales of residential electricity and gas.
While the production of durable and nondurable goods materials edged down, the output of energy materials increased sharply.
Growth was slowed by a fall in the production of motor vehicles and parts and by smaller declines in a number of nondurable goods manufacturing industries.
After an increase of 0.4 percent in June, the overall output of consumer goods slipped 0.2 percent in July; the production of durable goods was unchanged, and that of nondurable goods fell 0.3 percent.
The output of consumer nondurable goods
, which dropped 0.6 percent in April, advanced 0.4 percent in May, reflecting the surge in utility output for residential use; among other consumer nondurables, production was flat overall and has changed little since last summer.
The output of durable and nondurable goods materials was little changed, whereas the surge in electricity generation pushed the growth in energy materials to 1.7 percent.
When analyzed by industry group, the data show that factory output fell 0.2 percent in July, with decreases at manufacturers of both durable and nondurable goods; manufacturing production last increased in January.
The production index for materials decreased 0.3 percent, with declines in the output of durable and nondurable goods
materials and energy materials.
Materials for both durable and nondurable goods edged up in October, after having declined, on balance, in August and September; energy materials fell, as the output from coal mines and utilities decreased.
Growth in the output of nondurable goods has also slowed since spring.