Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization - G.17
Industrial production rose 0.5 percent in March after increasing 1.0 percent in February; the index advanced 4.5 percent at an annual rate for the first quarter as a whole. After having climbed 1.5 percent in February, manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent in March. Mining output rose 1.0 percent, mostly as a result of gains in oil and gas extraction and in support activities for mining. The index for utilities jumped 3.0 percent after being suppressed in February by warmer-than-normal temperatures. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.3 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up 0.3 percentage point in March to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2017||2018||2017||2018|| Mar. '17 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||102.6||102.9||103.0||102.6||104.1||104.2||1.3||.3||.1||-.4||1.5||.1||3.0|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2017||2018|| Mar. '17 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.3||85.6||77.3||84.6||63.7||74.3||75.2||75.3||75.3||74.9||76.0||75.9||.8|
|Primary and semifinished||80.4||86.5||78.1||87.7||63.8||74.8||75.5||75.9||76.4||76.3||76.2||76.7||.9|
The output of consumer goods advanced 0.5 percent in March. The production of durable consumer goods jumped 0.9 percent on the strength of a 2.7 percent gain for automotive products. The output of consumer nondurables moved up 0.4 percent, as a sharp increase in the index for consumer energy products was mostly offset by a drop in the index for non-energy nondurable consumer goods. Business equipment registered a gain of 0.5 percent, and all of its major categories posted increases. The index for defense and space equipment rose 0.7 percent. The output of construction supplies fell 0.3 percent after jumping 2.8 percent in February. In March, the index for business supplies recorded an increase of 0.4 percent. The production of materials moved up 0.6 percent, primarily as a result of a gain of 1.2 percent for energy materials.
Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent in March and increased 3.1 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter. In March, a decline of 0.3 percent for nondurables was outweighed by gains of 0.4 percent for durables and 0.2 percent for other manufacturing (publishing and logging). Among durables, the index for motor vehicles and parts increased 2.7 percent; vehicle assemblies moved up to 12.0 million units at an annual rate, their highest level since December 2016.
The index for mining climbed 1.0 percent in March and was 10.8 percent higher than its year-earlier level. Mining output has increased for six consecutive quarters, but it is still about 4 percent below its peak in 2014.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing decreased 0.1 percentage point in March to 75.9 percent, a rate that is 2.4 percentage points below its long-run average. The operating rate for durables, at 75.9 percent, was 1.0 percentage point below its long-run average, whereas the rates for nondurables and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging), at 77.0 percent and 61.3 percent, respectively, were further below their long-run averages of about 80 percent for each. Utilization for mining rose 0.5 percentage point to 90.1 percent, which is 3.1 percentage points above its long-run average but 1.5 percentage points below its high in 2014. The capacity utilization rate for utilities jumped 2.2 percentage points to 79.0 percent but remained below its long-run average.
The Federal Reserve Board issued its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization on March 23, 2018. New annual benchmark data for 2016 for manufacturing were incorporated, as well as other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels). The updated IP indexes included revisions to the monthly indicator (either product data or input data) and to seasonal factors for each industry. In addition, the estimation methods for some series were changed. Modifications to the methods for estimating the output of an industry affected the index from 1972 to the present.
Capacity and capacity utilization were revised to incorporate data through the fourth quarter of 2017 from the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other organizations.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:
- Summary: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
- Chart 1: Industrial Production, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization
- Chart 2: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
- Chart 3: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, High Technology Industries
- Table 1: Industrial Production: Market and Industry Groups (percent change)
- Table 2: Industrial Production: Special Aggregates and Selected Detail (percent change)
- Table 3: Motor Vehicle Assemblies
- Table 4: Industrial Production Indexes: Market and Industry Group Summary
- Table 5: Industrial Production Indexes: Special Aggregates
- Table 6: Diffusion Indexes of Industrial Production
- Table 7: Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities
- Table 8: Industrial Capacity: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities (percent change)
- Table 9: Industrial Production: Gross Value of Products and Nonindustrial Supplies
- Table 10: Gross-Value-Weighted Industrial Production: Stage-of-Process Groups
- Table 11: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry
- Table 12: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing
- Table 13: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry excluding Selected High-Technology Industries
- Table 14: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing excluding Selected High-Technology Industries
- Table 15: Industrial Production: Reliability Estimates