Federal Reserve Statistical Release, G.17, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization; title with eagle logo links to Statistical Release home page
Release Date: October 16, 2008
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[Annual Revision Notice Below]

Industrial production dropped 2.8 percent in September, as hurricanes Gustav and Ike and a strike at a major producer of civilian aircraft severely curtailed output. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production decreased at an annual rate of 6.0 percent. Manufacturing production fell 2.6 percent in September. The output of mines plunged 7.8 percent, as crude oil and natural gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico were suspended because of the hurricanes. The output of utilities rose 2.2 percent, as temperatures returned to more normal levels in September after a relatively cool August.

The estimated effect of the disruptions from the hurricanes on total industrial production in September is about 2-1/4 percentage points. In addition to reductions in oil and gas extraction, hurricane-related shutdowns of petroleum refineries and petrochemical producers factored significantly in the decline; other manufacturing industries with storm outages made smaller contributions to the drop in output. The strike in the commercial aircraft industry contributed an estimated 1/2 percentage point to the overall decrease in industrial production.

At 107.3 percent of its 2002 average, total industrial production in September was 4.5 percent below its level of a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry fell to 76.4 percent in September, a level 4.6 percentage points below its average level from 1972 to 2007.

Seasonally adjusted
Industrial production
2002=100 Percent change
2008 2008 Sept. '07 to
Sept. '08
Apr.[r] May[r] June[r] July[r] Aug.[r] Sept.[p] Apr.[r] May[r] June[r] July[r] Aug.[r] Sept.[p]
Total index  111.4  111.3  111.5  111.4  110.4  107.3    -.5    -.1     .1     .0   -1.0   -2.8   -4.5
   Previous estimates  111.4  111.3  111.5  111.6  110.3          -.5    -.1     .2     .1   -1.1    
Major market groups      
Final Products  112.3  112.1  112.8  112.6  111.2  108.4    -.7    -.2     .6    -.2   -1.3   -2.5   -4.9
   Consumer goods  106.2  105.8  106.5  106.2  104.4  103.0    -.5    -.4     .6    -.2   -1.7   -1.4   -5.0
   Business equipment  130.0  130.4  130.8  130.8  130.5  121.4   -1.7     .3     .3     .0    -.2   -7.0   -7.0
Nonindustrial supplies  106.6  106.2  105.9  105.6  105.0  103.2    -.2    -.3    -.3    -.3    -.6   -1.7   -4.8
   Construction  101.4  101.8  101.3  102.1  101.1   99.6    -.9     .4    -.4     .8   -1.0   -1.5   -6.5
Materials  112.3  112.3  112.2  112.4  111.5  107.7    -.5     .0    -.1     .2    -.8   -3.4   -3.9
Major industry groups      
Manufacturing (see note below)  112.3  112.4  112.3  112.3  111.3  108.5    -.9     .1    -.1     .0    -.9   -2.6   -4.8
   Previous estimates  112.3  112.4  112.4  112.5  111.4          -.9     .1     .0     .1   -1.0    
Mining  104.0  104.2  104.3  106.0  106.0   97.7     .1     .2     .1    1.6     .0   -7.8   -3.6
Utilities  110.4  108.0  109.9  107.8  104.5  106.7    1.5   -2.2    1.8   -2.0   -3.1    2.2   -2.1

Capacity utilization
Percent of capacity
2008 Sept. '07 to
Sept. '08
Apr.[r] May[r] June[r] July[r] Aug.[r] Sept.[p]
Total industry   81.0   85.0   78.6   85.1   73.6   81.3   79.9   79.7   79.7   79.6   78.7   76.4    1.6
   Previous estimates                                       79.9   79.7   79.7   79.7   78.7            
Manufacturing (see note below)   79.7   85.4   77.1   84.6   71.5   79.8   77.7   77.6   77.5   77.3   76.6   74.5    1.8
   Previous estimates                                       77.7   77.6   77.5   77.5   76.6            
Mining   87.5   86.3   83.6   88.7   84.8   88.9   90.7   90.9   90.9   92.3   92.2   85.0     .8
Utilities   86.8   92.7   84.1   93.9   84.6   86.6   86.5   84.5   85.9   84.0   81.3   82.9    2.3
Stage-of-process groups      
Crude   86.6   88.3   84.4   89.5   81.9   88.3   89.2   89.9   89.2   90.4   90.4   83.7     .6
Primary and semifinished   82.2   86.4   77.8   88.2   74.6   81.9   80.2   79.6   79.6   79.1   78.0   76.7    2.0
Finished   77.7   82.8   77.1   80.4   69.9   78.1   76.0   75.9   76.2   76.1   75.1   73.3    1.8

Market Groups

The production of consumer goods decreased 1.4 percent in September; durable goods declined 0.7 percent, while nondurable goods fell 1.5 percent. Consumer durable goods were weighed down by a drop of 3.3 percent in the production of appliances, furniture, and carpeting and by a decrease of 2.7 percent in the output of miscellaneous goods. Elsewhere among durable goods, the index for automotive products rose 1.7 percent in September after having dropped 11.0 percent in August. Among consumer nondurable goods, the index for consumer energy products tumbled 4.4 percent in September, as lower output at petroleum refineries was slightly offset by an advance in utilities output. Non-energy consumer nondurable goods weakened 0.3 percent. The indexes for foods and tobacco and for chemical products both moved lower, while the output of clothing and paper products both edged up.

The output of business equipment dropped 7.0 percent in September. The production of transit equipment plummeted more than 30 percent because of the work stoppage in civilian aircraft. The index for industrial and other equipment fell 2.4 percent because of a hurricane-related decline in mining and oil and gas field machinery and weakness in construction machinery, general purpose machinery, and farm machinery. The index for information processing equipment edged down 0.1 percent.

The output of defense and space equipment decreased 0.9 percent in September. A large shipbuilding facility on the Gulf coast was temporarily shut down as a result of the hurricanes, which contributed significantly to the decline.

Among nonindustrial supplies, the production of construction supplies decreased 1.5 percent after having fallen 1.0 percent in August. The index of business supplies fell 1.8 percent in September for its fifth consecutive monthly decrease.

Materials output dropped 3.4 percent. The production of energy materials fell 6.1 percent because of contractions in natural gas and crude oil. The production of durable materials decreased 1.0 percent. The index for consumer parts was unchanged after having fallen 6.5 percent in August. The index for equipment parts moved down 0.9 percent in September; about half of the decline was a result of lower production of aircraft parts. The output of other durable materials fell 1.3 percent. The production of nondurable materials moved down 3.3 percent. The shutdowns of petrochemical producers in the Gulf region contributed significantly to the decrease of 5.8 percent in the index for chemical materials. The index for textile materials fell 1.0 percent, and the index for paper materials declined 1.3 percent.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing output decreased 2.6 percent in September, and the factory operating rate fell to 74.5 percent, a level more than 5 percentage points below its 1972-2007 average. The production of durable goods industries fell 2.5 percent, with declines widespread among its components. In addition to a large drop in aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, production decreased for wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; primary metals; fabricated metal products; machinery; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; furniture and related products; and miscellaneous goods. The output of motor vehicles and parts advanced 1.9 percent after having fallen 11.3 percent in August, while the output of computer and electronic products was unchanged. The production of nondurable goods decreased 2.9 percent, with widespread weakness. The output of petroleum and coal products plunged 9.2 percent because of the storms' effects on refinery activity. Declines were also recorded in the indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products; textile and textile product mills; paper and products; printing; chemicals; and plastics and rubber products.

The index for other manufacturing (that is, industries formerly considered manufacturing but not classified as manufacturing under the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS), which consists of publishing and logging, edged down 0.2 percent in September after an increase of 0.5 percent in August.

Capacity utilization rates at industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: For the crude stage, utilization fell 6.7 percentage points, to 83.7 percent, a rate 2.9 percentage points below its 1972-2007 average; for the primary and semifinished stages, utilization fell 1.3 percentage points, to 76.7 percent, a rate 5.5 percentage points below its long-run average; and for the finished stage, utilization moved down 1.8 percentage points, to 73.3 percent, a rate 4.4 percentage points below its long-run average.

Revision of Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

The Federal Reserve Board plans to issue its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization in late March of 2009. The revised IP indexes will incorporate data from selected editions of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Current Industrial Reports. Detailed data from the 2007 Economic Census, however, are not expected to be available. Annual data from the U.S. Geological Survey regarding metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels) for 2007 will also be incorporated. The updating will include revisions to the monthly indicator (either product data or input data) and to seasonal factors for each industry as well as changes in the estimation methods for some series. Any changes to the methods for estimating the output of an industry will affect the index from 1972 to the present.

Capacity and capacity utilization will be revised to incorporate data from the Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity, which covers manufacturing, along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Energy, and other organizations.

Once the revision is published, it will be available on the Board's website at www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17. The revised data will also be available through the website of the Department of Commerce. Further information on the revision can be obtained from the Board's Industrial Output Section (telephone number 202-452-3197).

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.

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: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry
Ascii Screen reader Table 12: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing
Ascii Screen reader Table 13: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry excluding Selected High-Technology Industries
Ascii Screen reader Table 14: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing excluding Selected High-Technology Industries

Release dates | 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)
Data Download Program (DDP) | Announcements | Historical data (text files)

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