Industrial production decreased 0.6 percent in January after rising 0.1 percent in December. In January, manufacturing production fell 0.9 percent, primarily as a result of a large drop in motor vehicle assemblies; factory output excluding motor vehicles and parts decreased 0.2 percent. The indexes for mining and utilities moved up 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. At 109.4 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.8 percent higher in January than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.6 percentage point in January to 78.2 percent, a rate that is 1.6 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
| Jan. '18 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||104.9||105.2||105.0||105.3||106.1||105.2||.5||.2||-.1||.3||.8||-.9||2.9|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
| Jan. '18 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.3||85.6||77.3||84.6||63.7||74.7||76.0||76.1||75.9||76.0||76.5||75.8||1.4|
|Primary and semifinished||80.3||86.5||78.1||87.7||63.8||76.3||76.3||76.0||76.5||77.2||76.2||75.9||1.5|
The large drop in the output of motor vehicles and parts contributed significantly to sizable decreases posted by consumer durable goods, transit equipment, and durable materials. Results were mixed among other market groups, with many recording little change. Gains of more than 1/2 percent were registered by consumer energy products and by industrial and other equipment, while losses of nearly 1/2 percent or more were registered by information processing equipment, by defense and space equipment, and by construction supplies.
Manufacturing output decreased 0.9 percent in January to a level that was, nonetheless, 2.9 percent above a year earlier. The output of durable goods moved down 1.7 percent because of a sizable drop for motor vehicles. The index for motor vehicles and parts fell 8.8 percent, as vehicle assemblies fell from 12.3 million units at an annual rate in December (their highest monthly pace since June 2016) to 10.6 million units in January (their lowest reading since May 2018). Most other major durable goods industries also recorded decreases; only fabricated metal products and furniture posted gains. The output of nondurables was unchanged; its components posted mixed results, with only petroleum and coal products recording an increase of more than 1 percent and only apparel and leather recording a decrease of more than 1 percent. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) rose 1/2 percent.
Mining output edged up 0.1 percent in January; the index for mining was 15.3 percent above its level of a year earlier. The output of utilities increased 0.4 percent in January, with natural gas utilities rising 6 percent after falling 19 percent in December.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing declined 0.7 percentage point in January to 75.8 percent, about 2 1/2 percentage points below its long-run average. The utilization rate for mining fell to 94.8 percent but remained well above its long-run average of 87.1 percent. The operating rate for utilities increased to 75.4 percent, a rate that is about 10 percentage points below its long-run average.
Note: Preliminary Estimates of Industrial Capacity
The data in this release include preliminary estimates of industrial capacity for 2019 (table 8). Measured from fourth quarter to fourth quarter, total industrial capacity is projected to rise 2.3 percent this year after increasing 2.0 percent in 2018. Manufacturing capacity is expected to advance 1.4 percent in 2019, about the same pace as in 2018. Capacity in the mining sector is estimated to rise about 7 percent in 2019 after increasing about 6 percent in 2018. Capacity at electric and natural gas utilities is projected to increase about 2 percent in 2019, the same as in 2018.
The Federal Reserve Board plans to issue its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization on March 27, 2019. The Economic Census for 2017 will not be available from the U.S. Census Bureau by early 2019, so no new annual benchmark data will be included for manufacturing. Other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels), will be incorporated. The updated IP indexes will include 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 may be changed. Any modifications 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 through the fourth quarter of 2018 from the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization 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