Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fed: Industrial Production decreased 0.4% in August

by Bill McBride on 9/15/2016 09:23:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production decreased 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.6 percent in July. Manufacturing output also declined 0.4 percent in August, reversing its increase in July; the level of the index in August is little changed from its level in March. Following two consecutive monthly increases, the index for utilities fell back 1.4 percent in August. Even so, the index was 1.7 percent above its year-earlier level, as hot temperatures this summer boosted the usage of air conditioning. The output of mining moved up 1.0 percent in August, its fourth consecutive monthly increase following an extended downturn; the index, however, was still about 9 percent below its year-ago level. At 104.4 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in August was 1.1 percent lower than its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in August to 75.5 percent, a rate that is 4.5 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 8.8 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 75.5% is 4.5% 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 0.4% in August to 104.1. This is 19.4% above the recession low, and is at the pre-recession peak.

This was below expectations of a 0.2% decrease.