Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization - G.17
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Industrial production increased 0.4 percent in November. After having fallen 16.5 percent between February and April, the level of the index has risen to about 5 percent below its pre-pandemic (February) reading. In November, manufacturing output advanced 0.8 percent for its seventh consecutive monthly gain. An increase of 5.3 percent for motor vehicles and parts contributed significantly to the gain in factory production; excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output moved up 0.4 percent. The output of utilities declined 4.3 percent, as warmer-than-usual temperatures reduced the demand for heating. Mining production increased 2.3 percent after decreasing 0.7 percent in October.
At 104.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 5.5 percent lower in November than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3 percentage point in November to 73.3 percent, a rate that is 6.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average but 9.1 percentage points above its low in April.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2020||2020|| Nov. '19 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||93.8||97.7||99.1||99.2||100.3||101.1||7.7||4.2||1.5||.1||1.1||.8||-3.7|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2020|| Nov. '19 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.2||85.5||77.3||84.6||63.7||75.2||67.2||70.0||71.1||71.2||72.0||72.6||-.2|
|Primary and semifinished||80.3||86.4||78.1||87.8||63.9||75.8||67.1||69.8||70.3||70.5||71.6||71.0||.3|
The major market groups posted mixed results in November. The step-down in the index for utilities contributed to declines in the indexes for consumer goods and for business supplies. The index for business equipment rose 2.0 percent, supported in part by a sizable increase in the production of motor vehicles as well as by continued recovery in the production of commercial aircraft. The output of materials rose 0.7 percent, with similarly sized gains for each of its three main components—durable, nondurable, and energy materials.
Manufacturing output increased 0.8 percent in November to a level that was 3.8 percent below its pre-pandemic reading. The index for durable manufacturing rose 1.5 percent with widespread gains across its components. In addition to the large increase for motor vehicles and parts, output moved up notably for primary metals, for computers and electronics, for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, and for miscellaneous manufacturing. The index for nondurables edged up 0.1 percent in November after posting an increase of 1.4 percent in October. In November, increases in the indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products and for paper and products more than offset declines elsewhere. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) fell 1.2 percent.
The index for utilities dropped 4.3 percent in November, with declines for both electric and natural gas utilities. Mining production rose 2.3 percent; all of its major components posted gains of more than 1-1/2 percent.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing moved up 0.6 percentage point in November to 72.6 percent, 12.5 percentage points higher than its trough in April but still 5.6 percentage points below its long-run average. The utilization rate for mining increased to 79.4 percent; it remained well below its long-run average of 87.2 percent. The operating rate for utilities declined to 70.2 percent, a rate that is 15.0 percentage points below its long-run average.
The Federal Reserve Board plans to issue its annual revision to the indexes of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization in early 2021. New annual benchmark data for manufacturing for 2017 and 2018 will be incorporated, as well as other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels). The weights for market-group splits of the industry-level indexes will be updated with information from the 2012 benchmark input-output accounts from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The updated IP indexes will include revisions to the monthly indicator (either product data or input data) and to seasonal factors for each industry. In addition, the estimation methods for some series may be changed. Any modifications to the methods for estimating the output of an industry will affect the index from 1972 to the present.
Capacity and capacity utilization will be revised to incorporate data for manufacturing through the fourth quarter of 2019 from the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization, along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other organizations.
G.17 Release Tables:
- Summary: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
- Chart 1: Industrial Production, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization
- Chart 2: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
- Chart 3: Industrial Production of Selected Industries
- Table 1: Industrial Production: Market and Industry Groups (percent change)
- Table 2: Industrial Production: Special Aggregates and Selected Detail (percent change)
- Table 3: Motor Vehicle Assemblies
- Table 4: Industrial Production Indexes: Market and Industry Group Summary
- Table 5: Industrial Production Indexes: Special Aggregates
- Table 6: Diffusion Indexes of Industrial Production
- Table 7: Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities
- Table 8: Industrial Capacity: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities (percent change)
- Table 9: Industrial Production: Gross Value of Products and Nonindustrial Supplies
- Table 10: Gross-Value-Weighted Industrial Production: Stage-of-Process Groups
- Table 11: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry
- Table 12: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing
- Table 13: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Total Industry excluding Selected High-Technology Industries
- Table 14: Historical Statistics for IP, Capacity, and Utilization: Manufacturing excluding Selected High-Technology Industries
- Table 15: Industrial Production: Reliability Estimates