Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization - G.17
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Total industrial production increased 0.7 percent in April. The indexes for mining and utilities increased 0.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively; the index for manufacturing rose 0.4 percent despite a drop in motor vehicle assemblies that principally resulted from shortages of semiconductors. An important contributor to the gain in factory output was the return to operation of plants that were damaged by February's severe weather in the south central region of the country and had remained offline in March. The weather-induced drop in total industrial production in February and the subsequent rebound in March are now estimated to have been larger than reported last month.
At 106.3 percent of its 2012 average in April, total industrial production has moved up 16.5 percent from its level in April 2020 (the trough of the pandemic), but it was 2.7 percent below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 0.5 percentage point in April to 74.9 percent, a rate that is 4.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2020||2021||2020||2021|| Apr. '20 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||101.8||102.6||103.8||99.7||102.8||103.2||.9||.7||1.2||-4.0||3.1||.4||23.0|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2020||2021|| Apr. '20 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.1||85.5||77.3||84.6||63.7||60.1||73.1||73.7||74.6||71.6||73.8||74.1||-.2|
|Primary and semifinished||80.1||86.4||78.1||87.8||63.9||62.4||71.7||72.7||72.8||72.3||72.3||72.7||.2|
Most market groups posted gains in April, with the principal exceptions being those related to motor vehicles and parts. Automotive products, transit equipment, and consumer parts all recorded losses, as shortages of semiconductors held back motor vehicle assemblies. Among the other market groups, chemical materials and consumer energy products posted strong gains of 6.7 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.
Manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent in April, with decreases of 0.4 percent and 1.1 percent for durable and other manufacturing (publishing and logging), respectively, outweighed by an increase of 1.3 percent for nondurable manufacturing. The index for motor vehicles and parts fell 4.3 percent; excluding the motor vehicle sector, factory output advanced 0.7 percent, primarily reflecting a further recovery in chemicals as additional factories that had sustained weather-related damage during February reopened. Elsewhere, industry results were mixed, with supply chain difficulties possibly hindering production. Among nondurables, most major industry categories recorded gains, but paper, printing and support, and plastics and rubber products recorded modest losses.
The output of utilities moved up 2.6 percent in April after dropping substantially in March, when unseasonably warm weather reduced demand for heating. Mining production increased 0.7 percent in April; the index fell more than 9 percent in February because of the winter storm and recovered much of that loss in March.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing increased 0.3 percentage point in April to 74.1 percent. The operating rates for mining and utilities rose 0.7 percentage point and 1.7 percentage points, respectively. The rates for all three sectors remained below their long-run averages.
The Federal Reserve Board plans to issue its annual revision to the indexes of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization at noon (EDT) on May 28, 2021. The base year for the revised indexes will be 2017. New annual benchmark data for manufacturing for 2017 through 2019 will be incorporated, as well as other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels). The weights for market-group splits of the industry-level indexes will be updated with information from the 2012 benchmark input-output accounts from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The updated IP indexes will include revisions to the monthly production 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 for manufacturing through the fourth quarter of 2020 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