Federal Reserve Bulletin, Volume 93, 2007 Current Bulletin

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization:
The 2008 Annual Revision

Figure 1. Industrial production, capacity, and capacity utilization: Total industry, January 1999-June 2008. The figure shows the revised and previous measures of industrial production, capacity, and capacity utilization; data are plotted as curves in two separate panels, production and capacity in the left panel and capacity utilization in the right panel. For production and capacity, ratio scale, 2002 output = 100. For capacity utilization, unit measure is percent.

The region for the 2001 recession, as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, is shaded in both panels. The data underlying the contours of the curves shown in both panels are in table 1. The revisions to total industrial production lowered output in 2006 and 2007, but output in earlier years is little changed from the previous estimates. The revisions slightly raised industrial capacity in 2004 and 2005 but lowered it more noticeably afterward. Capacity is now falling or flat from mid-2002 through mid-2005, after which it turns up. The previous data showed a similar pattern except that the rise from mid-2005 through late-2006 was steeper. The revised estimates for capacity utilization for total industry in 2006 and 2007 are lower than the previous estimates. After peaking in early 2000, at about 82-1/2 percent, it falls rapidly through the end of 2001, reaching about 73-1/2 percent, and then climbs back up, somewhat erratically, over the next five years to reach above 81 percent in the middle of 2006 and stays roughly at this level until the end of 2007; the revised estimates show a decline to below 80 percent in mid-2008 (appendix table A.7).

NOTE: Here and in the following figures, the shaded areas are periods of business recession as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Data labeled "revised" correspond to the data in the Federal Reserve's Statistical Release G.17, "Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization," published on July 16, 2008. Data labeled "previous" are those published before the March 28, 2008, annual revision.

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