Industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April, and the rates of change for previous months were revised down on net. Output is now reported to have declined 1.9 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter. Manufacturing production moved down 0.5 percent in April after being unchanged in March. The index for mining advanced 1.6 percent in April, while the index for utilities fell 3.5 percent. At 109.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 0.9 percent higher in April than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.6 percentage point in April to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Summary
|Industrial production||2012=100||Percent change|
|2018||2019||2018||2019|| Apr. '18 to
|Major market groups|
|Major industry groups|
|Manufacturing (see note below)||105.8||106.4||105.7||105.2||105.2||104.7||.2||.6||-.6||-.5||.0||-.5||-.2|
|Capacity utilization||Percent of capacity|| Capacity
|2018||2019|| Apr. '18 to
|Manufacturing (see note below)||78.3||85.5||77.3||84.6||63.7||76.6||76.9||77.3||76.7||76.2||76.2||75.7||1.0|
|Primary and semifinished||80.4||86.4||78.1||87.8||63.9||78.2||78.5||77.4||77.2||76.7||76.8||75.8||1.3|
Most major market groups posted decreases in April. The production of consumer goods fell 1.2 percent, with declines for both durables and nondurables. The index for durable consumer goods moved down 0.8 percent, mostly because of a drop in the output of automotive products, while the output of nondurables was held down by sizable declines for both chemical products and consumer energy products. Production decreased for business equipment, construction supplies, and business supplies, but output advanced for defense and space equipment and for materials. Among the components of materials, a drop for durables was more than offset by gains for nondurable and energy materials.
Manufacturing output declined 0.5 percent in April after having decreased about 0.4 percent per month, on average, during the previous three months. In April, the production of durable goods fell almost 1 percent, but the index for nondurable goods only edged down. Among durables, losses of 2 percent or more were posted by machinery; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and motor vehicles and parts. Among nondurables, the results were mixed—the largest gains were recorded by apparel and by paper and products, and the largest declines were recorded by textile and product mills and by plastics and rubber products. The index for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) declined 0.3 percent and was well below its year-earlier level.
The output of utilities fell 3.5 percent in April, with declines in the indexes for both natural gas and electric utilities; demand for heating decreased last month because of temperatures that were warmer than normal. After having fallen for three consecutive months, mining output stepped up 1.6 percent in April and was 10.4 percent above its level of a year earlier. The increase in the mining index for April reflected gains in the oil and gas sector as well as a jump in coal mining that followed a few months of declines.
Capacity utilization for manufacturing dropped 0.5 percentage point in April to 75.7 percent, a rate that is 2.6 percentage points below its long-run average. The utilization rate for durable manufacturing declined, while the rates for nondurable manufacturing and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) were little changed. Capacity utilization for mining increased to 91.4 percent and remained well above its long-run average of 87.1 percent. The utilization rate for utilities dropped to 76.2 percent and was more than 9 percentage points below its long-run average.
The Federal Reserve Board issued its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization on March 27, 2019. The Economic Census for 2017 was not available from the U.S. Census Bureau, so no new annual benchmark data were included for manufacturing. Other annual data, including information on the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels), were incorporated. 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 2018 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.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 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