Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization increase in August

by Bill McBride on 9/15/2010 09:15:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production rose 0.2 percent in August after a downwardly revised increase of 0.6 percent in July [revised down from 1.0 percent]. ... The index for manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent in August after having advanced 0.7 percent in July; the step-down in the rate of increase reflected a fallback in the production of motor vehicles and parts, which had jumped sharply in July. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output increased 0.5 percent in August after having gained 0.2 percent in July. ... At 93.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in August was 6.2 percent above its year-earlier level. The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose to 74.7 percent, a rate 4.7 percentage points above the rate from a year earlier and 5.9 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 9.6% from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 74.7% is still far below normal - and well below the the pre-recession levels of 81.2% in November 2007. (Note: this is actual a decrease before the revision to July)

Note: y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

Industrial ProductionThe second graph shows industrial production since 1967.

This is the highest level for industrial production since Oct 2008, but production is still 7.2% below the pre-recession levels at the end of 2007.

The increase in August was about consensus, however the sharp downward revision to July puts this below consensus.