Thursday, September 15, 2011

Industrial Production increased 0.2% in August, Capacity Utilization increases slightly

by Bill McBride on 9/15/2011 09:25:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in August after having advanced 0.9 percent in July. Manufacturing rose 0.5 percent in August, after a similarly sized gain in July, and the rates of change were revised down slightly in April, May, and June. In August, the output of mines moved up 1.2 percent. The output of utilities decreased 3.0 percent, as temperatures moderated somewhat from the previous month. At 94.0 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production for August was 3.4 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry edged up to 77.4 percent, a rate 1.9 percentage points above its level from a year earlier but 3.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972--2010) average.
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 10.1 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 77.4% is still 3.0 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2010 and below the pre-recession levels of 81.3% in Decebmer 2007.

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

Industrial ProductionThe second graph shows industrial production since 1967.

Industrial production increased in August to 94.0 (although earlier months were revised down).

After the fairly rapid increase last year, increases in industrial production and capacity utilization have slowed recently.