Output at aerospace companies rose 4.2% but remained far below its pre-pandemic level. Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that reflects ongoing problems at Boeing and the collapse of the global travel industry.
Economists said the industrial sector should improve further but a number of risks remain.
“Output will continue to benefit from fuller re-openings,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “”However, weak demand and virus outbreaks that can interrupt activity remain a threat going forward."
Declines in the mining sector reflected sharp but temporary drops in oil and gas drilling when Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura forced energy companies to shutter operations in and around the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. industry operated at 71.4% of capacity in August, 10.3 percentage points above its trough in April, but still 8 percentage points below its long-run average.