The latest

Industrial production increased 0.4 percent in December after having fallen 0.3 percent in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, its 10th consecutive quarterly gain. In the manufacturing sector, output advanced 0.9 percent in December with similarly sized gains for both durables and nondurables.

We “needed” this in the sense that the IP numbers were disconcerting going into the end of last year. The big manufacturing gain is especially meaningful as we had seen what was starting to shape up as a “rollover” in manufacturing.

Now, that didn’t really jive with auto and retail sales numbers, but nonetheless was reason for pause. This makes the pause less pause-y.