January 18, 2019
Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization statistical release marks the 100th anniversary of Board data on industrial production
For release at 9:15 a.m. EST
The publication on Friday of the Federal Reserve Board's monthly statistical release on industrial production and capacity utilization marks the 100th anniversary of Board data on industrial production. The index has kept pace with an ever-evolving industrial sector by providing information that spans from the rise of the modern factory through the digital age.
The Board began collecting information about industrial production to satisfy the Federal Reserve's need for timely and relevant data on the U.S. economy. The Board's measure of industrial production remains an important economic indicator today and is frequently used by academics, businesses, and policymakers.
The index originally divided output into 55 categories and now includes 300, reflecting an increased ability to track the diversity and changing composition of the industrial sector. For example, in 1919, textile manufacturing represented nearly a quarter of the index. Almost the same proportion is represented in 2019 by the combination of motor vehicles and parts, aircraft, and oil and gas extraction. Textiles now represent less than 1 percent of the index. A short history of the index that describes its introduction and tracks its changes and improvements over the past century is available on the Board's website.
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