Release Date: February 17, 2004
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INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION
The output of consumer goods rose 0.8 percent in January. The production of consumer durables increased 0.6 percent, with gains spread broadly across its components. The output index for automotive products rose 0.8 percent; the index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting rose 1.0 percent; and the index for miscellaneous goods rose 0.9 percent. After a rapid run-up during the fourth quarter, the output of home electronics fell back 4.2 percent in January. The production of consumer nondurables rose 0.8 percent. The bulk of this increase occurred in consumer energy products, as utility sales to consumers jumped, while non-energy goods remained flat. The index for chemical products rose 0.5 percent, and the output of paper products was unchanged. The output of foods and tobacco decreased 0.2 percent, and clothing output fell 1.0 percent. Despite an increase during the fourth quarter, clothing output was down 11.2 percent from its level in January 2003.
The production of business equipment rose 0.5 percent in January, and increases were distributed evenly. The indexes for information processing equipment and for industrial and other equipment each rose 0.5 percent, and the production of transit equipment advanced 0.6 percent. The output of defense and space equipment fell 0.8 percent in January, to a level 1.4 percent higher than that of January 2003. The index for construction supplies rose 0.4 percent, and the output of business supplies increased 1.1 percent.
The production of industrial materials rose 0.9 percent in January. The output of durable materials increased 0.8 percent, with continued strength in equipment parts, especially semiconductors. The production of nondurable materials was unchanged, but the strength in utilities contributed to an advance of 2.0 percent for energy materials.
Manufacturing output increased 0.3 percent in January and was 2.3 percent above its year-ago level. The factory operating rate rose 0.2 percentage point, to 74.6 percent, and was 5.4 percentage points below its 1972-2003 average. The output of durable goods rose 0.6 percent. The gains among the subsectors included increases of about 1.0 percent in the output indexes for computer and electronic products, motor vehicles and parts, fabricated metal products, and wood products. The indexes for the following groups all rose by smaller amounts: nonmetallic mineral products; machinery; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; furniture and related products; and miscellaneous durables. The index for primary metals declined 1.4 percent. The production of nondurable goods was unchanged in January. Textile and product mills output increased 1.2 percent, and chemical products rose 0.5 percent. The production of food, beverage, and tobacco products fell 0.2 percent. Declines of 1 percent or more occurred in the production indexes for apparel and leather and for petroleum and coal products.
Production at mines rose 0.1 percent; the utilization rate edged up, to 86.0 percent, a rate 0.9 percentage point below its 1972-2003 average. Output at utilities jumped 5.2 percent; despite a rise of 4.0 percentage points in the industry operating rate, to 86.1 percent, utilization still was below its 1972-2003 average of 86.9 percent. By stage of processing, capacity utilization for industries in the crude stage increased 0.3 percentage point, to 84.6 percent. Utilization for industries in the primary and semifinished stages increased 0.9 percentage point, to 78.7 percent, and utilization for industries in the finished stage rose 0.1 percentage point, to 71.7 percent.
The data in this release include preliminary estimates of industrial capacity for 2004. Total industrial capacity is projected to increase 1.7 percent, and manufacturing capacity is estimated to rise 1.8 percent. The increase in manufacturing capacity, which is notably larger than the 1.0 percent gain in 2003, mainly reflects a sharp increase in the pace of capacity expansion for high-technology industries. Outside high-technology industries, manufacturing capacity is expected to edge up, on balance. In 2004, capacity expansion at utilities is estimated to slow to 1.4 percent from the 4.4 percent pace in 2003, a move reflecting a less-sizable boost in electricity-generating capability after three years of significant gains.
With the May 14, 2004, release of the G.17, the comparison base year for the data both in Table 9, Gross Value of Final Products and Nonindustrial Supplies, and in Table 10, Gross-Value-Weighted Industrial Production: Stage-of-Process Groups, will be advanced to 2000 to conform with the comparison base year for the national income and product accounts.
G.17 Release Tables:
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