Friday, May 15, 2015

Fed: Industrial Production decreased 0.3% in April

by Bill McBride on 5/15/2015 09:23:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production decreased 0.3 percent in April for its fifth consecutive monthly loss. Manufacturing output was unchanged in April after recording an upwardly revised gain of 0.3 percent in March. In April, the index for mining moved down 0.8 percent, its fourth consecutive monthly decrease; a sharp fall in oil and gas well drilling has more than accounted for the overall decline in mining this year. The output of utilities fell 1.3 percent in April. At 105.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in April was 1.9 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in April to 78.2 percent, a rate that is 1.9 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 11.3 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 78.2% is 1.9% 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 decreased 0.3% in April to 105.2. This is 25.6% above the recession low, and 4.4% above the pre-recession peak.

This was below expectations of no change, although March was revised up - and much of the decline over the last few months was due to the "a sharp fall in oil and gas well drilling".