U.S. industrial production ticked up in March 0.4 percent from the same month in 2016, reports ITR Economics in the May edition of its ITR Advisor. The increase, supported by consumer spending, backs a rising trend the economics analyst firm expects to last through early 2018.

The U.S. economy is also benefiting from rising global demand. ITR sees increases in industrial production in Europe, Japan, China and South Korea, which should spur international trade and further upward movement in U.S. industrial production. U.S. imports are up 0.7 percent and exports have climbed 4.8 percent, year over year. Consumer and industrial sector strength is supporting the rise in imports, while growth among foreign economies is benefiting U.S. exports.

In its analysis of various industries, ITR reports that U.S. wholesale trade for the year ending in March was up 2.2 percent, and average manufacturing production for the same 12-month period increased 0.4 percent. However, it notes that the manufacturing sector may see slower growth next year as consumer demand tapers off some.

ITR offers economic information, insight, analysis and proactive strategies, and in collaboration with PPAI, the company produces data for the promotional products industry to help members improve their businesses. Its quarterly Market Outlook Reports for the promotional products industry contain industry indicators, market analysis, advertising industry forecasts and a promotional products industry forecast.