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Rocky Recovery

12:01 PM MDT | October 16, 2009 | Arnold Pearlman

Industrial production rose 0.6% in August, after a 1.4% gain in July. Durables were up 0.5%, while nondurables advanced 0.7%. Chemical production rose 0.7%, its third consecutive monthly advance. As a result of those gains in output, capacity utilization in chemicals and in the overall manufacturing sector has been rising. However, factory usage remains well below the near-term peaks reached in the first quarter of 2008 and is significantly below historic peaks reached in 1994 and 1995. The upside of low operating rates is that inflation is unlikely, unless a...

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