Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Industrial Production Increased 0.9% in December

by Bill McBride on 1/17/2018 09:26:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production rose 0.9 percent in December even though manufacturing output only edged up 0.1 percent. Revisions to mining and utilities altered the pattern of growth for October and November, but the level of the overall index in November was little changed. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production jumped 8.2 percent at an annual rate after being held down in the third quarter by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. At 107.5 percent of its 2012 average, the index has increased 3.6 percent since December 2016 for its largest calendar-year gain since 2010.

The gain in manufacturing output in December was its fourth consecutive monthly increase. The output of utilities advanced 5.6 percent for the month, while the index for mining moved up 1.6 percent. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.9 percent, a rate that is 2.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 11.2 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 77.9% is 2.0% 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 in December to 107.5. This is 23% above the recession low, and 2% above the pre-recession peak.