The goods producing sector saw a surprisingly small rebound in output in November. A 0.2 percent rise on the month was well short of expectations and although October's nosedive was revised shallower to 2.0 percent, production was still a workday adjusted 2.9 percent below its year ago level.
A 3.3 percent monthly slump in energy output weighed on overall production and, largely thanks to a 1.4 percent bounce in capital goods and a 1.0 percent rise in construction, manufacturing alone was up a slightly stronger 0.4 percent. However, intermediates expanded just 0.2 percent and consumer goods were off 2.2 percent.
If the manufacturing PMI is to be believed, output fell in December which, with average production in October/November already 2.8 percent below its third quarter mean, hardly bodes well for the quarter just ended. As such, today's report increases the likelihood of the goods producing sector seeing a sizeable contraction and, indeed, of real GDP registering its first outright quarterly decline since the end of 2011.