Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fed: Industrial Production decreased 0.4% in August

by Bill McBride on 9/15/2015 09:31:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production decreased 0.4 percent in August after increasing 0.9 percent in July. The increase in July is now estimated to be greater than originally reported last month, largely as a result of upward revisions for mining and utilities. Manufacturing output fell 0.5 percent in August primarily because of a large drop in motor vehicles and parts that reversed a substantial portion of its jump in July; production elsewhere in manufacturing was unchanged. The index for mining fell 0.6 percent in August, while the index for utilities rose 0.6 percent. At 107.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in August was 0.9 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 0.4 percentage point in August to 77.6 percent, a rate that is 2.5 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 10.7 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 77.6% is 2.5% 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 0.4% in August to 107.1. This is 22.8% above the recession low, and 1.8% above the pre-recession peak.

This was below expectations of a 0.2% decrease.  Much of the recent weakness has been due to lower oil prices - a weak report.