Industrial Production Finally Sets New Records

J: On January 17 the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System told us that total industrial production in the US hit a record level of 107.5 (2012=100) in December. This index is one of our oldest economic indicators. The chart shows the 98-year history of the index. Despite the 17 recessions shown in the chart, the long-run trend is clearly very positive. Industrial production today is more than ten times greater than it was during World War II and more than five times bigger than it was during the Korean War. Big increases in the mining sector, which includes oil and gas drilling, and in the electric and natural gas sectors drove the total index to the record. For the fourth q

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