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Monday, March 15, 2010

Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization increase slightly in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/15/2010 09:15:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in February following a gain of 0.9 percent in January. Production was likely held down somewhat by winter storms in the Northeast. Manufacturing decreased 0.2 percent in February, with mixed results among its major industries. The output of mines rose 2.0 percent, while the index for utilities rose 0.5 percent. At 101.0 percent of its 2002 average, industrial output in February was 1.7 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.2 percentage point to 72.7 percent, a rate 7.9 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 6.5% from the record low set in June (the series starts in 1967).

Capacity utilization at 72.7% is still far below normal - and far below the the pre-recession levels of 80.5% in November 2007.

Note: y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

Also - this is the highest level for industrial production since Dec 2008, but production is still 10.1% below the pre-recession levels at the end of 2007. Snow is being blamed for industrial production and capacity utilization only increasing slightly.