Manufacturing activity in the U.S climbed sharply in March, led by increases in automotive output. This marked the third straight monthly gain in U.S. factory activity.
Overall industrial production increased 0.9% in March, keeping pace with February’s upwardly revised pace, according to a report from the country’s Federal Reserve.
U.S. motor vehicle and parts production shot up by 7.8% in March, the largest increase since October, according to Reuters. Total assemblies of cars and light trucks rose to nearly 9.5 million vehicles at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the highest since January 2021, up from 8.3 million the month before.
The uptick in the automotive production may be indication that sector has placed the supply chain issues that have plagued it for a good part of a year now in the rear-view mirror. However, the Russia invasion of Ukraine and the lockdown in Shanghai continue to threaten global supply chains with more disruptions.
Manufacturing accounts for almost 12% of the American economy and it has benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic as people shifted disposable income normally spent on services such as entertainment and restaurants to household goods. That trend, however, is likely to ease as pandemic restrictions lift across the country.