Federal Reserve Statistical Release, G.17, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization; title with eagle logo links to Statistical Release home page
Release Date: April 16, 2008
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INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION

[2008 Revision Notice Below]

Industrial production rose 0.3 percent in March after having dropped 0.7 percent in February. For the first quarter as a whole, output declined at an annual rate of 0.1 percent after edging up at a rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Manufacturing production rose 0.1 percent in March. Factory output was held down by a large decline in the output of motor vehicles and parts; a shortage of motor vehicle parts that resulted from a strike at a parts manufacturer idled a number of motor vehicle assembly plants. Outside of motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing production moved up 0.4 percent after having fallen 0.5 percent in February. In March, the output of mines increased 0.9 percent, and the output of utilities advanced 1.9 percent. At 112.1 percent of its 2002 average, total industrial production was 1.6 percent above its year-earlier level. The capacity utilization rate for total industry in March rose 0.2 percentage point, to 80.5 percent.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION: SUMMARY
Seasonally adjusted
 
 
Industrial production
2002=100 Percent change
2007 2008 2007 2008 Mar. '07 to
Mar. '08
Oct.[r] Nov.[r] Dec.[r] Jan.[r] Feb.[r] Mar.[p] Oct.[r] Nov.[r] Dec.[r] Jan.[r] Feb.[r] Mar.[p]
       
Total index  111.8  112.3  112.4  112.6  111.8  112.1    -.4     .4     .1     .1    -.7     .3    1.6
   Previous estimates  111.8  112.3  112.4  112.5  111.9          -.4     .5     .1     .1    -.5    
       
Major market groups      
Final Products  113.0  113.2  113.5  114.1  113.2  113.4    -.9     .3     .2     .5    -.7     .2    1.3
   Consumer goods  107.3  107.4  107.4  108.1  107.1  107.0   -1.0     .1     .0     .7    -.9     .0     .1
   Business equipment  129.9  130.3  131.2  131.6  131.6  132.4    -.5     .3     .7     .3     .0     .6    4.6
Nonindustrial supplies  107.9  107.9  107.7  107.7  106.3  106.7    -.5     .1    -.2     .0   -1.4     .4   -1.0
   Construction  105.4  104.7  104.6  104.1  102.7  102.5   -1.1    -.7     .0    -.6   -1.3    -.2   -3.5
Materials  112.2  113.0  113.2  112.9  112.3  112.8     .1     .7     .2    -.2    -.5     .5    2.7
       
Major industry groups      
Manufacturing (see note below)  113.5  113.7  113.8  113.9  113.3  113.4    -.4     .2     .1     .1    -.5     .1    1.2
   Previous estimates  113.4  113.7  113.8  113.8  113.5          -.5     .2     .1     .0    -.3    
Mining  101.3  103.1  104.3  102.8  103.1  104.0    -.1    1.8    1.2   -1.4     .3     .9    3.2
Utilities  108.4  109.1  108.2  110.9  106.9  108.9    -.5     .6    -.7    2.4   -3.6    1.9    2.3


 
 
 
 
Capacity utilization
 
Percent of capacity
Capacity
growth
Average
1972-
2007
1988-
89
high
1990-
91
low
1994-
95
high
2001-
02
low
 
2007
Mar.[p]
   
2007 2008 Mar. '07 to
Mar. '08
Oct.[r] Nov.[r] Dec.[r] Jan.[r] Feb.[r] Mar.[p]
       
Total industry   81.0   85.0   78.6   85.1   73.6   80.7   80.8   81.1   81.0   81.0   80.3   80.5    1.9
   Previous estimates                                       80.8   81.1   81.0   81.0   80.4            
       
Manufacturing (see note below)   79.7   85.4   77.1   84.6   71.5   79.2   79.2   79.3   79.2   79.2   78.6   78.5    2.1
   Previous estimates                                       79.2   79.3   79.2   79.1   78.7            
Mining   87.5   86.3   83.6   88.7   84.8   89.2   88.7   90.6   91.2   89.9   90.1   90.8    1.3
Utilities   86.8   92.7   84.1   93.9   84.6   85.2   86.0   86.3   85.5   87.4   84.1   85.5    1.8
       
Stage-of-process groups      
Crude   86.6   88.3   84.4   89.5   81.9   88.4   87.9   89.7   90.3   89.2   89.0   89.8    1.1
Primary and semifinished   82.2   86.4   77.8   88.2   74.6   81.6   81.4   81.5   81.0   81.4   80.2   80.1    2.3
Finished   77.7   82.8   77.1   80.4   69.9   76.9   77.6   77.5   77.6   77.6   77.2   77.4    1.8

Market Groups

The production of consumer goods was unchanged in March; a drop in the production of consumer durables offset an increase in consumer nondurables. For the first quarter, the output of consumer goods edged up at an annual rate of 0.2 percent after having fallen at a rate of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. The decline in durable consumer goods in March principally reflected a strike-related drop in automotive products, though, in addition, the output of miscellaneous consumer durables slipped 0.4 percent. The drop in consumer durables was tempered by gains of more than 1 percent in the output of home electronics and of appliances, furniture, and carpeting. The output of non-energy nondurables rose 0.9 percent; gains in the production of foods and tobacco and of paper products outweighed a decline in clothing production, while the production of chemical products was unchanged. The output of consumer energy goods stepped down 0.4 percent.

The output of business equipment increased 0.6 percent in March and rose at an annual rate of 4.4 percent in the first quarter after having advanced at a rate of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter. Increases in information processing equipment and in industrial and other equipment in March more than offset a decrease in transit equipment. The index for transit equipment fell 0.5 percent largely as a result of the vehicle parts strike. The index for civilian aircraft edged up.

The output of defense and space equipment increased 0.2 percent in March after having fallen 0.8 percent in February.

The output of construction supplies decreased 0.2 percent in March. Production of these goods fell at an annual rate of 6.8 percent in the first quarter after having dropped at a rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. The output of business supplies rose 0.7 percent in March.

The production of materials advanced 0.5 percent in March and nearly reversed its February decline. For the first quarter, output edged down at an annual rate of 0.3 percent after having advanced at a rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Among non-energy materials, durable materials declined 0.3 percent in March. A gain in equipment parts was outweighed by a decrease in consumer parts, which largely reflected the lower output of motor vehicle parts, and by a decline in other durable materials. The output of nondurable materials moved up 0.6 percent; increases in paper and in chemical materials more than offset a decrease in textile materials. The production of energy materials climbed 1.3 percent.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent in March after having dropped 0.5 percent in February. For the first quarter as a whole, manufacturing output decreased at an annual rate of 0.5 percent after having fallen at a similar pace in the fourth quarter. The factory operating rate edged down 0.1 percentage point in March, to 78.5 percent, a level 1.2 percentage points below its 1972-2007 average. The production of durable goods slipped 0.1 percent; excluding motor vehicles and parts, the output of durables advanced 0.7 percent, and gains were widespread across industries. Besides motor vehicles and parts, primary metals and machinery were the only other durable goods industries that posted declines. The production of nondurables edged up 0.2 percent. Advances in the output of food, beverage, and tobacco products; textile and product mills; paper; printing and support; and chemicals outweighed declines in apparel and leather, petroleum and coal products, and plastics and rubber products. The output of non-NAICS industries (publishing and logging) rose 0.7 percent.

The output of electric utilities increased 1.6 percent in March, and the output of natural gas utilities advanced 3.4 percent. The operating rate for utilities moved up 1.4 percentage points, to 85.5 percent, a level 1.3 percentage points below its 1972-2007 average. Mining production increased 0.9 percent; the capacity utilization rate for mining rose 0.7 percentage point, to 90.8 percent, a rate 3.3 percentage points above its long-run average.

Capacity utilization at industries grouped by stage of process changed as follows: For the crude stage, utilization rose 0.8 percentage point, to 89.8 percent, a rate 3.2 percentage points above its 1972-2007 average; for the primary and semifinished stages, utilization edged down 0.1 percentage point, to 80.1 percent, a rate 2.1 percentage points below its long-run average; and for the finished stage, utilization moved up 0.2 percentage point, to 77.4 percent, about the same as its long-run average.

Notice

Revision of Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

The Federal Reserve Board issued an annual revision to the indexes of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity and capacity utilization on March 28, 2008. The revised IP indexes incorporated data from the 2006 Annual Survey of Manufactures and from selected editions of the 2006 Current Industrial Reports, all from the U.S. Census Bureau. Annual data from the U.S. Geological Survey regarding metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels) for 2006 were also incorporated. The update included revisions to the monthly indicator (either product data or input data) and to seasonal factors for each industry as well as changes in the estimation methods for some series. Any changes to methods for estimating the output of an industry affected the indexes from 1972 to the present.

Monthly releases now include new or revised indexes for a six-month reporting window, which encompasses one month of new data and revisions to the previous five months of data. The new longer reporting window allows the incorporation of additional lagging data before an annual revision. Had a six-month window been used over the past year, an additional 3 percent to 4 percent of IP would have reflected source data. For a few indexes, the longer reporting window will cause the latest month of data shown to be as many as five months earlier than the latest value for aggregate IP; data for detailed production indexes are not shown in the supplement to the G.17 release until either the underlying data are available or the reporting window is closed.

Capacity and capacity utilization have been revised to reflect the revised production indexes and to incorporate data from the Census Bureau's 2006 Survey of Plant Capacity, which covers manufacturing, along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Energy, and other organizations.

The revision is now available on the Board's website (www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17). The revised data are also available through the website of the Department of Commerce (www.stat-usa.gov). Further information on these revisions can be obtained from the Board's Industrial Output Section (telephone number 202-452-3197).

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




Release dates | Documentation
Current Monthly Release   Other formats: ASCII | PDF (144 KB)
Supplemental Monthly Release   Other formats: ASCII | PDF (144 KB)
Annual Revision Release   Other formats: ASCII | PDF (150 KB)
Data Download Program (DDP) | Announcements | Historical data (text files)

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