Monday, March 16, 2015

Fed: Industrial Production increased 0.1% in February

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2015 09:26:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production increased 0.1 percent in February after decreasing 0.3 percent in January. In February, manufacturing output moved down 0.2 percent, its third consecutive monthly decline. The rates of change for the total index in January and for manufacturing in both December and January are lower than previously reported. The index for mining fell 2.5 percent in February; drops in the indexes for coal mining and for oil and gas well drilling and servicing primarily accounted for the decrease. The output of utilities jumped 7.3 percent, as especially cold temperatures drove up demand for heating. At 105.8 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in February was 3.5 percent above its level of a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased to 78.9 percent in February, a rate that is 1.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2014) average.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 12.0 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 78.9% is 1.2% below the average from 1972 to 2012 and below the pre-recession level of 80.8% in December 2007.

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

Industrial Production The second graph shows industrial production since 1967.

Industrial production increased 0.1% in January to 102.8. This is 26.4% above the recession low, and 2.6% above the pre-recession peak.

This was below expectations, and there were downward revisions to prior months.