Friday, March 16, 2018

Industrial Production Increased 1.1% in February

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2018 09:22:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production rose 1.1 percent in February following a decline of 0.3 percent in January. Manufacturing production increased 1.2 percent in February, its largest gain since October. Mining output jumped 4.3 percent, mostly reflecting strong gains in oil and gas extraction. The index for utilities fell 4.7 percent, as warmer-than-normal temperatures last month reduced the demand for heating. At 108.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 4.4 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector climbed 0.7 percentage point in February to 78.1 percent, its highest reading since January 2015 but still 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 11.4 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 78.1% is 1.7% below the average from 1972 to 2017 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 ProductionThe second graph shows industrial production since 1967.

Industrial production increased in February to 108.2. This is 24% above the recession low, and 3% above the pre-recession peak.