Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Industrial Production Increased 0.4 Percent in November; 5% Below Pre-Crisis Level

by Calculated Risk on 12/15/2020 09:22:00 AM

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production increased 0.4 percent in November. After having fallen 16.5 percent between February and April, the level of the index has risen to about 5 percent below its pre-pandemic (February) reading. In November, manufacturing output advanced 0.8 percent for its seventh consecutive monthly gain. An increase of 5.3 percent for motor vehicles and parts contributed significantly to the gain in factory production; excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output moved up 0.4 percent. The output of utilities declined 4.3 percent, as warmer-than-usual temperatures reduced the demand for heating. Mining production increased 2.3 percent after decreasing 0.7 percent in October.

At 104.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 5.5 percent lower in November than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3 percentage point in November to 73.3 percent, a rate that is 6.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average but 9.1 percentage points above its low in April.
emphasis added
Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up from the record low set in April, but still well below the level in February 2020.

Capacity utilization at 73.3% is 6.5% below the average from 1972 to 2017.

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 October to  104.0. This is 4.9% below the February 2020 level.

The change in industrial production was close to  consensus expectations, and industrial production in September and October were revised up slightly.