Friday, May 15, 2009

Industrial Production Declines, now 16% Below Peak

by Bill McBride on 5/15/2009 09:15:00 AM

The Federal Reserve reported:

Industrial production decreased 0.5 percent in April after having fallen 1.7 percent in March. Production in manufacturing declined 0.3 percent in April and was 16.0 percent below its recent peak in December 2007. The decreases in manufacturing in April remained broadly based across industries. Outside of manufacturing, the output of mines fell 3.2 percent, as oil and gas field drilling and support activities continued to drop. The output of utilities moved up 0.4 percent. At 97.1 percent of its 2002 average, industrial output in April was 12.5 percent below its year-earlier level. The capacity utilization rate for total industry fell further in April, to 69.1 percent, a low over the history of this series, which begins in 1967.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is at another record low (the series starts in 1967).

In addition to the weakness in industrial production, there is little reason for investment in new production facilities until capacity utilization recovers.

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