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Industrial production and capacity utilization data for August 2018 are now available.
Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in August for its third consecutive monthly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.2 percent on the strength of a 4.0 percent rise for motor vehicles and parts; motor vehicle assemblies jumped to an annual rate of 11.5 million units, the strongest reading since April. Excluding the gain in motor vehicles and parts, factory output was unchanged. The output of utilities advanced 1.2 percent, and mining production increased 0.7 percent; the index for mining last decreased in January. At 108.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.9 percent higher in August than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up in August to 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2017) average.