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Release Date: October 17, 2017
Technical Q&A for Hurricane Harvey Notice Below

Industrial production rose 0.3 percent in September. The rates of change for July and August were notably revised; the current estimate for July, a decrease of 0.1 percent, was 0.5 percentage point lower than previously reported, while the estimate for August, a decrease of 0.7 percent, was 0.2 percentage point higher than before. The estimates for manufacturing, mining, and utilities were each revised lower in July. The continued effects of Hurricane Harvey and, to a lesser degree, the effects of Hurricane Irma combined to hold down the growth in total production in September by 1/4 percentage point.[1] For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production fell 1.5 percent at an annual rate; excluding the effects of the hurricanes, the index would have risen at least 1/2 percent. Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent in September but fell 2.2 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter. The indexes for mining and utilities in September rose 0.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. At 104.6 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in September was 1.6 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.2 percentage point in September to 76.0 percent, a rate that is 3.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average.

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
Seasonally adjusted
Industrial production 2012=100 Percent change
2017 2017 Sept. '16 to
Sept. '17
Apr.[r] May[r] June[r] July[r] Aug.[r] Sept.[p] Apr.[r] May[r] June[r] July[r] Aug.[r] Sept.[p]
       
Total index 105.0 105.0 105.2 105.1 104.3 104.6 1.1 .0 .2 -.1 -.7 .3 1.6
Previous estimates 105.0 105.1 105.3 105.7 104.7   1.1 .1 .2 .4 -.9    
       
Major market groups
Final Products 102.0 102.0 101.9 101.5 101.1 101.6 1.8 .0 -.1 -.3 -.5 .6 1.2
Consumer goods 105.0 105.4 105.2 105.2 104.5 105.1 1.3 .4 -.2 .0 -.6 .5 .2
Business equipment 103.1 101.9 101.5 100.3 100.0 100.8 3.3 -1.1 -.4 -1.2 -.3 .8 2.1
Nonindustrial supplies 105.8 105.6 105.3 105.3 104.1 105.2 .4 -.2 -.2 .0 -1.2 1.1 1.0
Construction 111.6 110.7 110.4 110.3 109.1 111.2 .5 -.8 -.2 -.1 -1.0 1.9 3.5
Materials 107.0 107.0 107.7 107.7 106.8 106.6 .7 .0 .7 .0 -.8 -.2 2.2
       
Major industry groups
Manufacturing (see note below) 103.9 103.4 103.5 103.2 102.9 103.0 1.3 -.6 .2 -.4 -.2 .1 1.0
Previous estimates 103.9 103.4 103.5 103.6 103.3   1.2 -.5 .2 .0 -.3    
Mining 107.2 108.1 109.5 110.0 109.7 110.1 .6 .8 1.3 .5 -.2 .4 9.8
Utilities 101.6 104.4 103.4 104.0 98.9 100.4 .2 2.7 -1.0 .5 -4.9 1.5 -4.1
Capacity utilization Percent of capacity Capacity
growth
Average
1972-
2016
1988-
89
high
1990-
91
low
1994-
95
high
 
2009
low
 
2016
Sept.
   
2017 Sept. '16 to
Sept. '17
Apr.[r] May[r] June[r] July[r] Aug.[r] Sept.[p]
       
Total industry 79.9 85.2 78.8 85.0 66.7 75.6 76.6 76.5 76.6 76.5 75.8 76.0 1.1
Previous estimates             76.6 76.6 76.7 76.9 76.1    
       
Manufacturing (see note below) 78.4 85.6 77.3 84.6 63.7 74.9 76.0 75.5 75.6 75.3 75.1 75.1 .7
Previous estimates             75.9 75.5 75.6 75.6 75.3    
Mining 87.0 86.1 83.8 88.6 78.4 77.8 82.4 82.9 83.7 83.8 83.4 83.5 2.2
Utilities 85.6 93.2 84.7 93.2 78.1 78.7 75.9 77.9 77.1 77.5 73.7 74.8 1.0
       
Stage-of-process groups
Crude 86.1 87.7 84.5 90.1 76.3 78.3 82.2 82.6 83.5 83.5 82.4 81.1 2.3
Primary and semifinished 80.5 86.5 78.1 87.8 63.8 75.5 75.8 76.0 76.0 75.7 74.7 75.2 .6
Finished 76.9 83.4 77.3 80.6 66.7 74.7 75.6 74.9 74.9 74.7 74.8 75.2 .8
r Revised. p Preliminary.
Market Groups

The output of consumer goods moved up 0.5 percent in September, with gains for both durables and nondurables. The only major components of consumer goods to post losses were clothing, paper products, and consumer energy products. The output of business equipment rose 0.8 percent, as a decline of about 1 percent in transit equipment was outweighed by an increase in the industrial and other equipment category. Construction supplies and business supplies recorded gains of 1.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. The production of materials declined 0.2 percent, a change that was more than accounted for by a drop of 7.2 percent in the index for chemical materials. The output of the chemical industry continued to be held down in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent in September. A gain of 1.0 percent for durables outweighed a decrease of 0.9 percent for nondurables, and the output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) was unchanged. Among durables, the largest increases—about 3 percent—were recorded by nonmetallic mineral products; machinery; and electrical equipment, appliances, and components. Among nondurables goods industries, declines were widespread, with the largest drop coming in the output of chemicals. Only the indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products and for plastics and rubber products advanced.

In September, the rise of 0.4 percent for mining reflected a gain in oil and gas extraction; all of its other major components recorded losses. Over the past 12 months, mining output has increased 9.8 percent from its trough in September 2016.

Capacity utilization for manufacturing was unchanged at 75.1 percent in September, a rate that is 3.3 percentage points below its long-run average. Utilization for durables increased 0.7 percentage point to 74.9 percent, while the operating rate for nondurables fell 0.7 percentage point to 76.3 percent. The operating rate for mining edged up 0.1 percentage point to 83.5 percent, and the rate for utilities rose 1.1 percentage points to 74.8 percent.

Technical Q&A for Hurricane Harvey

A technical Q&A discussing the effect of Hurricane Harvey on industrial production for August was published on the Federal Reserve Board's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/g17_technical_qa.htm#hurricaneharvey2017. Additional discussion about the estimation process is available at https://doi.org/10.17016/2380-7172.2086.

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.

[1] Because the industrial production index measures output in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the industrial sector in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are not reflected in these estimates.
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Last Update: October 17, 2017