Industrial production is on the upswing in the U.S., reports economic research and consulting firm ITR Economics in the March 2017 edition of The ITR Advisor. Industrial production, a benchmark for the overall U.S. economy, is expected to grow 2.7 percent over the course of the year. The economy should continue to grow in 2018, but not at 2017’s pace, ITR predicts.

While ITR’s forecast points to an overall increase in industrial production, it is not evenly distributed. It notes that growth in commodity-based sectors such as Fabricated Metal Products will offset downward pressure brought about by cyclical decline in U.S. Oil & Gas Extraction Production and U.S. Chemical & Chemical Products Production. However, both sectors should recover over the next few months.

Nondefense Capital Goods New Orders, an indicator of business-to-business activity, sits below the year-ago level, but ITR expects it to recover and expand through mid-2018. Growth in jobs and wages are buoying the U.S. consumer, although the February increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index and inflationary pressures in 2017 and 2018 point to an uptick in the cost of living.

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