Performance Evaluation of the Federal Reserve G.17 (419) Statistical Release
June 2020 PDF

I. Overview

The Federal Reserve statistical release “Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization” G.17 (419) reports monthly measures of output (IP) for major market and industry groups in the industrial sector, which the Federal Reserve defines as the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities industries. Monthly measures of capacity and capacity utilization for major industry groups are provided as well. More detailed industry data for these indicators are published concurrently in a supplement to the G.17. Data from both the G.17 and the supplement to the G.17 are made available online through the Federal Reserve's Data Download Program. The production and capacity indexes are expressed as percentages of output relative to a base year, which currently is 2012. The component IP and capacity indexes are aggregated into market and industry groups with weights that are derived from their proportion in the total value added of all industries. The release also includes gross values of industrial products expressed in billions of chained (2012) dollars, gross-value-weighted production indexes by stage-of-process, diffusion indexes of industrial production, supplementary data on motor vehicle assemblies in millions of units, and reliability measures for total IP and the major industry aggregates. The G.17 release and the supplement to the release are published about 15 days after the reference month ends; for example, preliminary estimates for May are released in mid-June. The release is available on the Federal Reserve’s public website at the time of publication.

The production indexes and utilization rates are widely reported in the media and are used by analysts in government, businesses, and universities to follow current developments and trends in real output and operating rates in the industrial sector. The production indexes are also used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to estimate manufacturing productivity and by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to estimate investment in computers for the national income and product accounts. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta uses IP indexes in its GDPNow measure, a model-based “nowcast” of the BEA’s official estimate of the growth rate of gross domestic product. In addition, IP may be used by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research as one of the economic indicators that identifies peaks and troughs of business cycles.

Table of Contents | Section I | Section II | Section III | Section IV | Section V | Section VI

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Last Update: June 25, 2020