Federal Reserve Statistical Release, G.17, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization; title with eagle logo links to Statistical Release home page
Release Date: January 14, 2005
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[2004 Revision Notice Below]

Industrial production increased 0.8 percent in December after gains of 0.2 percent in November and 0.8 percent in October. In the manufacturing sector, output rose 0.7 percent in December, and increases occurred in most major industry groups. The output of utilities jumped 2.7 percent, and the output at mines advanced 0.4 percent. Over the twelve months ending in December, total industrial production increased 4.4 percent, to a level that is 117.8 percent of its 1997 average, while total industrial capacity expanded a modest 1.2 percent. The rate of capacity utilization in December, at 79.2 percent, was 2.4 percentage points above its year-earlier level but still 1.9 percentage points below its 1972-2003 average.

Seasonally adjusted
Industrial production
1997=100 Percent change
2004 2004 Dec. '03 to
Dec. '04
Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Total index  115.7  116.6  116.8  117.8    -.3     .8     .2     .8    4.4
   Previous estimates  115.9  116.7  117.0          -.1     .7     .2    
Major market groups                  
Final Products  113.5  114.8  114.8  115.7    -.3    1.1     .0     .8    4.7
   Consumer goods  110.7  111.9  111.9  112.7    -.6    1.1     .0     .7    2.7
   Business equipment  121.1  122.8  122.5  123.6     .4    1.4    -.2     .9    9.8
Nonindustrial supplies  112.8  113.3  113.2  114.2    -.1     .4    -.1     .9    4.4
   Construction  107.6  108.4  108.2  108.6    -.6     .7    -.1     .3    4.1
Materials  118.9  119.5  120.1  121.2    -.3     .5     .5     .9    4.0
Major industry groups                  
Manufacturing (see note below)  117.7  118.8  118.9  119.7    -.4     .9     .1     .7    5.1
   Previous estimates  117.8  118.6  118.9          -.4     .7     .2    
Mining   89.4   89.5   91.4   91.8   -2.7     .0    2.2     .4    -.4
Utilities  114.8  114.5  114.4  117.5    3.3    -.2    -.1    2.7    2.2

Capacity utilization
Percent of capacity
Dec. '03 to
Dec. '04
Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Total industry   81.1   70.8   85.1   76.8   78.0   78.5   78.6   79.2    1.2
   Previous estimates                           78.1   78.6   78.7            
Manufacturing (see note below)   79.9   68.5   85.6   75.0   76.8   77.4   77.4   77.8    1.2
   Previous estimates                           76.9   77.3   77.4            
Mining   87.1   78.6   85.8   87.0   84.6   84.7   86.6   87.0    -.4
Utilities   86.9   77.7   92.8   86.2   84.8   84.5   84.3   86.5    1.9
Stage-of-process groups                  
Crude   86.4   77.3   88.9   85.1   84.3   84.5   85.8   86.4    -.2
Primary and semifinished   82.2   68.0   86.5   78.9   79.7   79.8   79.8   80.6    2.1
Finished   78.0   71.1   83.1   72.5   74.8   75.8   75.7   76.1     .3

r Revised. p Preliminary.
The statistics in this release cover output, capacity, and capacity utilization in the
industrial sector, which the Federal Reserve defines as manufacturing, mining, and electric and
gas utilities. Manufacturing comprises those industries included in the North American Industry
Classification System, or NAICS, manufacturing plus the logging and newspaper, periodical,
book and directory publishing industries that have traditionally been considered manufacturing and included
in the industrial sector.

Market Groups

The output of consumer goods rose 0.7 percent in December and increased at an annual rate of 4.4 percent for the fourth quarter as a whole. In December, the index for consumer nondurables increased 0.8 percent and received a significant boost from the output of consumer energy products, which jumped 2.9 percent in December largely because of an increase in residential sales of electricity. Among non-energy nondurables, the index for paper products rose 1.2 percent while the indexes for clothing and for foods and tobacco moved up by smaller amounts; these gains more than offset a second monthly decline in the index for chemical products. The output of consumer durables rose 0.6 percent, as the index for automotive products turned back up and the indexes for appliances, furniture, and carpeting and for miscellaneous goods increased. The output of home electronics tumbled again and ended the year nearly 8-1/2 percent below its level in December 2003.

The production of business equipment increased 0.9 percent in December and was nearly 10 percent above its year-earlier level; for the fourth quarter as a whole, this index rose at an annual rate of 5.9 percent. The output of information processing equipment added another 1.0 percent in December, the fourth month of similarly sized gains. Industrial and other equipment rose 1.3 percent; however, average output in the fourth quarter was little changed after having risen sharply over the previous four quarters. The production of defense and space equipment continued to climb in December, reaching a level 9.0 percent higher than a year earlier.

In December, nonindustrial supplies posted its largest one-month gain--0.9 percent--since February, mainly because of a jump of 1.1 percent in the output of business supplies. The index for materials also rose 0.9 percent; the rise in output in this category was supported both by a 1.3 percent gain for energy materials and by broad-based gains among durable and nondurable materials categories.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing production increased 0.7 percent in December, and the factory operating rate moved up 0.4 percentage point, to 77.8 percent, the highest rate of utilization since December 2000. Nonetheless, the factory operating rate was still more than 2 percentage points below its 1972-2003 average. In December, the production of durable goods increased 0.9 percent. The largest gain among the durable goods industries was in primary metals, in which output rose 3.0 percent. The production of computer and electronic products registered a 1.2 percent gain, and its level was 16.4 percent higher than a year earlier. Among the selected high-technology industries, the output of computer and peripheral equipment continued to expand at a monthly pace of about 1-1/2 percent; increases in the production of semiconductor and related electronic components strengthened for a second month in December after decelerating, on balance, over the previous eight months. The indexes for most other major categories of durable goods increased in December; the exceptions include wood products, which moved down for a second month, and electrical equipment, appliances, and components, which turned back down. The production of nondurable goods, which rose 0.3 percent, included output gains of at least 1 percent for textile and product mills, paper, and petroleum and coal products. Smaller production increases were posted in food, beverage, and tobacco products; apparel and leather; and printing and support. The production of chemicals edged down, and the output of plastics and rubber products was unchanged. Production in the non-NAICS manufacturing industries (logging and publishing) jumped 1.2 percent.

In December, the higher level of utilities output reflected a 3.0 percent increase in the output of electric utilities and a 1.3 percent rise in the output of natural gas utilities. The small gain in mining output was primarily the result of increases in crude oil extraction and coal mining. Capacity utilization for industries in the crude stage of processing rose 0.6 percentage point, to 86.4 percent, a rate that is equal to its 1972-2003 average. The operating rate for industries in the primary and semifinished stages increased 0.8 percentage point, to 80.6 percent, and the utilization rate for finished goods producers increased 0.4 percentage point, to 76.1 percent.

Revision of Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

On December 22, 2004, the Federal Reserve Board issued its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP), the related measures of capacity and capacity utilization, and the data on industrial use of electric power. Comprehensive source data from the Census Bureau's 2002 Economic Census were incorporated into the production database. In addition to these data, the revised IP indexes reflect data from selected editions of the Census Bureau's 2002 and 2003 Current Industrial Reports. Annual data from the U.S. Geological Survey regarding metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels) for 2002 and 2003 were also introduced. The updating also included revisions to the monthly indicator for each industry (either physical product data, production-worker hours, or electric power usage) and revisions to seasonal factors.

Capacity and capacity utilization were revised to incorporate preliminary data from the Census Bureau's 2003 Survey of Plant Capacity, which covers manufacturing, along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other organizations. The statistics on the industrial use of electric power incorporated additional information received from utilities for the past few years and included available data from the 2002 Economic Census.

The revision is available on the Board's website at www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17. The revised data are also available through the website of the Department of Commerce. Further information on these revisions is available from the Board's Industrial Output Section (telephone 202-452-3197).

G.17 Release Tables:

Ascii Screen reader Summary: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
Chart   Chart 1: Industrial Production, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization
Chart   Chart 2: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
Chart   Chart 3: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, High Technology Industries
Ascii Screen reader Table 1:Industrial Production: Market and Industry Groups (percent change)
Ascii Screen reader Table 2:Industrial Production: Special Aggregates and Selected Detail (percent change)
Ascii Screen reader Table 3: Motor Vehicle Assemblies
Ascii Screen reader Table 4: Industrial Production Indexes: Market and Industry Group Summary
Ascii Screen reader Table 5: Industrial Production Indexes: Special Aggregates
Ascii Screen reader Table 6: Diffusion Indexes of Industrial Production
Ascii Screen reader Table 7: Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities
Ascii Screen reader Table 8: Industrial Capacity: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities (percent change)
Ascii Screen reader Table 9: Industrial Production: Gross Value of Products and Nonindustrial Supplies
Ascii Screen reader Table 10: Gross-Value-Weighted Industrial Production: Stage-of-Process Groups
Ascii Screen reader Table 11: Electric Power Use: Manufacturing and Mining
Ascii Screen reader Table 12: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry
Ascii Screen reader Table 13: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing
Ascii Screen reader Table 14: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry excluding Selected High-Technology Industries
Ascii Screen reader Table 15: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing excluding Selected High-Technology Industries

Release dates | Historical data | Documentation
Current Monthly Release   Other formats: ASCII | PDF (144 KB)
Supplemental Monthly Release   Other formats: ASCII | PDF (144 KB)
Annual Revision Release   Other formats: ASCII | PDF (150 KB)

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Last update: January 14, 2005, 9:15 AM