From “Retail Sales, Factory Data Show Growing Pains for U.S. Recovery” (Bloomberg):
The surge in demand has manufacturers struggling to keep pace. Factory output climbed 0.9% in May after a 0.1% April decline, the Fed’s report on Tuesday showed. The gain in factory output included a strong rebound in motor vehicle production and strength in machinery and chemicals.
Steady business investment, resilient consumer spending and a more recent pickup in export demand are all helping to fuel orders growth. When paired with a backdrop of lean inventories, factory output is poised to pick up steam in the months ahead.
Even so, headwinds remain. Producers continue to grapple with shipping delays, unfilled job openings and supply shortages like semiconductors.
The New York Fed’s index of manufacturing in the state showed more moderate growth in June. A gauge of delivery times climbed to a record high, while more factories reported shrinking inventories.