INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Industrial production decreased 0.2 percent in March after an increase of 0.8 percent in February.
Output in the manufacturing sector moved up 0.7 percent in March; the increase was led by advances in the
production of durable goods. The output of utilities dropped 7.0 percent, largely reversing its February
jump of 7.6 percent, as temperatures swung from below seasonal norms in February to above seasonal norms in
March. Mining output edged up 0.1 percent in March. At 112.5 percent of its 2002 average, overall
industrial production for March was 2.3 percent above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity
utilization for total industry fell 0.2 percentage point, to 81.4 percent, a level 0.4 percentage point
above its 1972-2006 average.
|2007|| Mar. '06 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||114.4||113.7||113.8||114.6||1.1||-.6||.1||.7||2.6|
Percent of capacity
Mar. '06 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||79.8||84.6||71.6||80.1||80.5||79.8||79.7||80.1||2.5|
|Primary and semifinished||82.2||88.2||74.6||83.6||81.7||81.9||82.7||81.8||3.0|
The large decrease for utilities substantially lowered the output of consumer goods, business supplies, and materials in March; production gains were widespread otherwise. The output of durable consumer goods increased 0.6 percent after having risen 1.7 percent in February. The output of home electronics jumped for a second consecutive month because of continued gains in computers produced for households. Also within consumer durables, the indexes for automotive products and for miscellaneous goods increased, while the index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting decreased. The output of non-energy nondurables rose 0.6 percent, as a decline in clothing was more than offset by increases in foods and tobacco, in chemical products, and in paper products. Among consumer energy products, the drop in residential sales by utilities was slightly offset by an increase in the output of fuels.
The output of business equipment moved up 0.8 percent in March; gains were recorded in transit equipment, in industrial and other equipment, and in information processing equipment. An increase of 1.0 percent in information processing equipment was driven in part by output gains in communications equipment and in computers produced for businesses. An increase of 0.9 percent in industrial and other equipment was due to gains in farm machinery, in medical equipment and supplies, and in other general purpose machinery. An increase in the production of civilian aircraft supported a rise of 0.2 percent in transit equipment. The output of defense and space equipment fell 2.0 percent, in part because of a strike related to shipbuilding. The output of construction supplies increased 1.2 percent after two consecutive months of decreases. The output of general business supplies advanced, but the increase was insufficient to offset the decrease in sales by utilities to businesses; as a result, overall output of business supplies contracted 0.6 percent.
The production of materials was unchanged in March, as gains in both durable and nondurable materials offset a decline in energy materials. Within durables, the output of equipment parts moved up 1.4 percent after two consecutive months of declines; the increase in March was led by gains in semiconductors. The production of consumer parts increased 0.6 percent, and the production of other durables increased 0.8 percent. Among nondurable materials, the production of both chemicals and paper advanced more than 0.5 percent, while the output of textile materials edged down 0.1 percent. The production of energy materials dropped 2.2 percent in March, nearly erasing the February gain of 2.3 percent.
Manufacturing output rose 0.7 percent in March. The production of both durable and nondurable manufacturing increased; the production of non-NAICS manufacturing (logging and publishing) edged up for a second consecutive month. The factory operating rate moved up 0.4 percentage point, to 80.1 percent. The production of durable goods rose 0.9 percent after having edged up in February. The indexes for nonmetallic mineral products, machinery, computer and electronic products, and miscellaneous manufacturing all rose 1.0 percent or more; these gains more than offset decreases in the indexes for wood products, furniture and related products, and aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment. The index for nondurable manufacturing moved up 0.5 percent; gains occurred in the indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products; chemicals; and plastics and rubber products. The indexes for textile and product mills and for leather and apparel both declined more than 0.5 percent.
The drop in utilities output was especially pronounced for natural gas utilities, which recorded a decrease in output of 14.7 percent; the output of electric utilities dropped 5.4 percent. Mining production edged up 0.1 percent in March after a gain of 0.3 percent in February. Capacity utilization for industries in the crude stage of processing edged up 0.1 percentage point, to 88.3 percent, in March. Capacity utilization for industries in the primary and semifinished stages moved down 0.9 percentage point, to 81.8 percent, and capacity utilization for industries at the finished stage increased 0.4 percentage point, to 78.7 percent.
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:
|Ascii||Screen reader||Summary: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization||Chart||Chart 1: Industrial Production, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization||Chart||Chart 2: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization||Chart||Chart 3: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, High Technology Industries|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 1: Industrial Production: Market and Industry Groups (percent change)|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 2: Industrial Production: Special Aggregates and Selected Detail (percent change)|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 3: Motor Vehicle Assemblies|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 4: Industrial Production Indexes: Market and Industry Group Summary|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 5: Industrial Production Indexes: Special Aggregates|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 6: Diffusion Indexes of Industrial Production|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 7: Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 8: Industrial Capacity: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities (percent change)|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 9: Industrial Production: Gross Value of Products and Nonindustrial Supplies|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 10: Gross-Value-Weighted Industrial Production: Stage-of-Process Groups|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 11: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 12: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 13: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry excluding Selected High-Technology Industries|
|Ascii||Screen reader||Table 14: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing excluding Selected High-Technology Industries|