Industrial production fell 1.3 percent in September after moving down 0.1 percent in August; output was previously reported to have risen 0.4 percent in August. In September, manufacturing output decreased 0.7 percent: The production of motor vehicles and parts fell 7.2 percent, as shortages of semiconductors continued to hobble operations, while factory output elsewhere declined 0.3 percent. The output of utilities dropped 3.6 percent, as demand for cooling subsided after a warmer-than-usual August. Mining production fell 2.3 percent.Click on graph for larger image.
The lingering effects of Hurricane Ida more than accounted for the drop in mining in September; they also contributed 0.3 percentage point to the drop in manufacturing. Overall, about 0.6 percentage point of the drop in total industrial production resulted from the impact of the hurricane.
Despite the decrease in September, total industrial production rose 4.3 percent at an annual rate for the third quarter as a whole, its fifth consecutive quarter with a gain of at least 4 percent.
At 100.0 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in September was 4.6 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 1.0 percentage point in September to 75.2 percent, a rate that is 4.4 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up from the record low set in April 2020, but below the level in February 2020 (pre-pandemic).
Capacity utilization at 75.2% is 4.4% below the average from 1972 to 2020. This was well below consensus expectations.
Note: y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.