Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fed: Industrial Production decreased 0.5% in February

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2016 09:23:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production decreased 0.5 percent in February after increasing 0.8 percent in January. Sizable declines in the indexes for both utilities and mining in February outweighed a gain of 0.2 percent for manufacturing. The output of utilities dropped 4.0 percent, as unseasonably warm weather curbed the demand for heating. Mining production fell 1.4 percent and has decreased nearly 1.3 percent per month, on average, over the past six months. At 106.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 1.0 percent below its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in February to 76.7 percent, a rate that is 3.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2015) average.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 10.2 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 76.7% is 3.3% below the average from 1972 to 2015 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 0.5% in February to 106.3. This is 21.9% above the recession low, and 1.1% above the pre-recession peak.

This was below expectations of a 0.2% decrease.