Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in February; for the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3 percent at an annual rate. Manufacturing production was unchanged in March after declining in both January and February. The index for utilities rose 0.2 percent, while mining output moved down 0.8 percent. At 110.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 2.8 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in March to 78.8 percent, a rate that is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2018||2019||2018||2019|| Mar. '18 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||105.6||105.8||106.5||105.9||105.6||105.5||-.1||.2||.6||-.5||-.3||.0||1.0|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2018||2019|| Mar. '18 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.3||85.5||77.3||84.6||63.7||76.3||76.8||76.9||77.3||76.8||76.5||76.4||1.0|
|Primary and semifinished||80.4||86.4||78.1||87.8||63.9||77.3||77.9||78.5||77.4||77.2||77.3||77.2||1.2|
The major market groups recorded mixed results in March. Gains for nondurable consumer goods, business equipment, defense and space equipment, and construction supplies were slightly more than offset by losses for other market groups. The largest decline was recorded by consumer durables; the indexes for all of its major categories fell, with the biggest decrease posted by automotive products.
Manufacturing output was unchanged in March and moved down at an annual rate of 1.1 percent in the first quarter. The output of durables edged down in March. Losses of more than 2 percent were registered by wood products and by motor vehicles and parts, while gains of more than 1 percent were registered by primary metals and by computer and electronic products. The production of nondurables inched up as a result of increases in the indexes for textile and product mills, for petroleum and coal products, and for chemicals. The index for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) edged down, remaining well below its year-earlier level.
The output of utilities rose 0.2 percent in March; the output of natural gas utilities climbed nearly 4 percent, while the output of electric utilities stepped down. Mining output declined 0.8 percent but remained 10.5 percent above its level of a year earlier.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing edged down 0.1 percentage point in March to 76.4 percent, about 2 percentage points below its long-run average. The utilization rate for durable manufacturing declined, while capacity utilization rates for nondurable manufacturing and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) were unchanged. Capacity utilization for mining decreased to 90.9 percent but was still above its long-run average of 87.1 percent. The utilization rate for utilities was unchanged at 79.9 percent and remained 5 1/2 percentage points 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 27, 2019. The Economic Census for 2017 was not available from the U.S. Census Bureau, so no new annual benchmark data were included for manufacturing. Other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels), were incorporated. 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 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 of Selected 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