Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization - G.17
Industrial production advanced 1.0 percent in April for its third consecutive monthly increase and its largest gain since February 2014. Manufacturing output rose 1.0 percent as a result of widespread increases among its major industries. The indexes for mining and utilities posted gains of 1.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. At 105.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in April was 2.2 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.6 percentage point in April to 76.7 percent, a rate that is 3.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2016||2017||2016||2017|| Apr. '16 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||102.4||102.6||103.0||103.2||102.8||103.8||.2||.2||.4||.3||-.4||1.0||1.7|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2016||2017|| Apr. '16 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.4||85.6||77.3||84.6||63.7||75.1||75.1||75.2||75.4||75.6||75.2||75.9||.7|
|Primary and semifinished||80.5||86.5||78.1||87.8||63.8||75.5||74.8||75.9||75.1||74.7||75.5||76.0||.9|
The indexes for most of the major market groups recorded substantial increases in April. The output of consumer goods rose 1.5 percent. The output of consumer durables jumped 3.0 percent as a result of sizable increases in the indexes for automotive products and for appliances, furniture, and carpeting. The production of consumer non-energy nondurables rose 1.2 percent, and the output of consumer energy products moved up 0.8 percent. With all of its components registering increases, the index for business equipment advanced 1.2 percent; the output of defense and space equipment fell 0.5 percent. The index for construction supplies edged down 0.1 percent, while the index for business supplies moved up 0.6 percent. The production of materials increased 0.8 percent, with a gain of about 1 percent for energy materials and gains of about 1/2 percent for both durable and nondurable materials.
As with the overall index, the increase of 1.0 percent for manufacturing output in April was its largest since February 2014. The indexes for durables and for nondurables each advanced 1.0 percent, while the output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) moved up 0.7 percent. The increase in durables was spearheaded by a large advance for motor vehicles and parts, while the improvement for nondurables was led by gains for food, beverage, and tobacco products, for textile and product mills, for printing and support, and for chemicals.
After falling 0.4 percent in March, the output of mining rose 1.2 percent in April, largely because of pickups in coal mining and in drilling and support activities. The mining index in April was 7.3 percent higher than its year-earlier level but 11.2 percent below its peak in December 2014. The output of utilities moved up 0.7 percent, as warmer-than-normal temperatures boosted air-conditioning usage and electric power generation; the increase in electricity generation was offset somewhat by lower output for gas utilities, as demand for heating slackened.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing rose 0.7 percentage point in April to 75.9 percent, a rate that is 2.5 percentage points below its long-run average. Although durables, nondurables, and other manufacturing (publishing and logging) all recorded substantial increases in utilization, their operating rates remained below their respective long-run averages, with the shortfall being the greatest for other manufacturing. Utilization for mining moved up 0.8 percentage point to 83.3 percent but remained below its long-run average. The operating rate for utilities rose 0.5 percentage point to 76.3 percent.
Introduction of Reliability Estimates for Industrial Production Indexes
With the monthly G.17 statistical release on April 18, 2017, the Federal Reserve Board began publishing estimates of the reliability of the levels and the rates of change (monthly and quarterly) of the reported production indexes for total industry, manufacturing, mining, and utilities. The reliability estimates are designed to give data users a sense of the typical range into which a statistic will likely end up after its final (fifth) revision in a monthly release. The reliability estimates are based on the revision history for the indexes back to 2008; each G.17 release will include estimates for those months and quarters for which either new or updated estimates were issued that month. A detailed explanation is available on the Board's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/revisions/Current/DefaultRev.htm.
The reliability estimates are issued in table 15 of the G.17 release, available on the Board's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/default.htm. A text file that contains the estimates is also available on the Federal Reserve's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/ipdisk/revh\_sa.txt.
The Federal Reserve Board issued its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization on March 31, 2017. New annual benchmark data for 2015 for manufacturing were incorporated, as well as other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels). The updated IP indexes included 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 were changed. Modifications to the methods for estimating the output of an industry affected the index from 1972 to the present.
Capacity and capacity utilization were revised to incorporate data through the fourth quarter of 2016 from the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other organizations.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:
- 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 and Capacity Utilization, High Technology 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