Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization - G.17
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Industrial production decreased 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.6 percent in July. Manufacturing output also declined 0.4 percent in August, reversing its increase in July; the level of the index in August is little changed from its level in March. Following two consecutive monthly increases, the index for utilities fell back 1.4 percent in August. Even so, the index was 1.7 percent above its year-earlier level, as hot temperatures this summer boosted the usage of air conditioning. The output of mining moved up 1.0 percent in August, its fourth consecutive monthly increase following an extended downturn; the index, however, was still about 9 percent below its year-ago level. At 104.4 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in August was 1.1 percent lower than its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in August to 75.5 percent, a rate that is 4.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2015) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2016||2016|| Aug. '15 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||102.9||103.0||102.8||103.0||103.4||103.0||-.4||.1||-.2||.2||.4||-.4||-.4|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2016|| Aug. '15 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.5||85.6||77.3||84.6||63.8||75.7||75.0||75.1||74.8||75.0||75.2||74.8||.7|
|Primary and semifinished||80.6||86.5||78.1||87.8||63.8||76.4||74.5||75.3||75.0||75.7||76.2||75.6||.9|
The indexes for all major market groups declined in August. The output of consumer goods decreased 0.2 percent as a result of a large drop in consumer energy products and a small decline in consumer non-energy nondurables. The output of consumer durables was unchanged; a gain in automotive products was offset by declines in all of its other components. Business equipment posted a decrease of 0.4 percent, as gains of 1 percent or more for transit equipment and for information processing equipment were outweighed by a cutback of nearly 2 percent for industrial and other equipment. The output of defense and space equipment declined 0.6 percent. The indexes for construction supplies and business supplies moved down 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. The production of materials decreased 0.5 percent: Both durable and energy materials posted declines, while the output of nondurable materials was unchanged. The reduction in the index for durable materials reflected similarly sized losses across all its major categories.
Manufacturing output declined 0.4 percent in August; the index was also 0.4 percent below its level of a year earlier. In August, the production of nondurables moved down 0.2 percent, and the indexes for durables and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) fell 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Many durable goods industries posted declines of nearly 1 percent or more, with the largest drop, 1.9 percent, recorded by machinery. Within nondurables, gains for food, beverage, and tobacco products and for paper were more than offset by declines elsewhere; the largest decrease, 2.1 percent, was recorded by textile and product mills.
The index for mining moved up 1.0 percent in August, with a decline in coal mining outweighed by increases in the indexes for oil and gas extraction, for oil well drilling and servicing, and for metal ore and nonmetallic mineral mining.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing decreased 0.4 percentage point in August to 74.8 percent, a rate that is 3.7 percentage points below its long-run average. The operating rate for nondurables moved down 0.2 percentage point; the rates for durables and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) each declined 0.5 percentage point. The operating rate for mining moved up 1.0 percentage point to 76.2 percent, while the rate for utilities decreased 1.3 percentage points to 80.4 percent.Note. The statistics in this release cover output, capacity, and capacity utilization in the U.S. industrial sector, which is defined by the Federal Reserve to comprise manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities. Mining is defined as all industries in sector 21 of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS); electric and gas utilities are those in NAICS sectors 2211 and 2212. Manufacturing comprises NAICS manufacturing industries (sector 31-33) plus the logging industry and the newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishing industries. Logging and publishing are classified elsewhere in NAICS (under agriculture and information respectively), but historically they were considered to be manufacturing and were included in the industrial sector under the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. In December 2002 the Federal Reserve reclassified all its industrial output data from the SIC system to NAICS.