Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fed: Industrial Production increased 0.7% in April

by Bill McBride on 5/17/2016 09:26:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production increased 0.7 percent in April after decreasing in the previous two months. Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent after declining the same amount in March. The index for utilities jumped 5.8 percent in April, as the demand for electricity and natural gas returned to a more normal level after being suppressed by warmer-than-usual weather in March. Mining production fell 2.3 percent in April, and it has decreased more than 1 1/2 percent per month, on average, over the past eight months. At 104.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in April was 1.1 percent below its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.5 percentage point in April to 75.4 percent, a rate that is 4.6 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 8.7 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 75.4% is 4.6% 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 increased 0.6% in April to 104.1. This is 19.1% above the recession low, and 1.5% below the pre-recession peak.

This was above expectations of a 0.2% increase.