Today, the Federal Reserve released their monthly read of industrial production showing a tepid continuation of the production bounce that occurred primarily as a result of the “cash-for-clunkers” policy while also indicating that many key components have now come back under pressure now that the government stimulus effects have ended.
“Final product” consumer durable goods slumped 1.36% on a month-to-month basis while remaining 8.05% below the level seen just one year ago.
It’s important to note that although the Federal Government's “cash-for-clunkers” policy breathed life into the vehicle components of the durable goods category, home appliances, furniture and carpeting continued its decline dropping 15.53% on a year-over-year basis and now resting at the lowest level seen in nearly 30 years.
Construction supply production has been showing the most severe contraction seen in at least the nearly 30 years with wood products falling 15.02% on a year-over-year basis.
The motor vehicle and business vehicle components are clearly indicating that the government sponsored bounce and any residual effects provided by the "cash for clunkers" policy has now likely peaked out.
Finally, HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) appears to be firmly reflecting the substantial pullback in fixed commercial investment falling 15.46% on a year-over-year basis.
The following charts (click for larger) show the overall consumer durable component along with the Home Appliances, Furniture and Carpeting sub-component on both a time series and year-over-year basis, construction supply production with the wood products sub-component, and general and business related vehicle production all overlaid with the last two recessions for comparisons purposes.