Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in August for its third consecutive monthly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.2 percent on the strength of a 4.0 percent rise for motor vehicles and parts; motor vehicle assemblies jumped to an annual rate of 11.5 million units, the strongest reading since April. Excluding the gain in motor vehicles and parts, factory output was unchanged. The output of utilities advanced 1.2 percent, and mining production increased 0.7 percent; the index for mining last decreased in January. At 108.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.9 percent higher in August than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up in August to 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
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.
The second graph shows industrial production since 1967.
Industrial production increased in August to 108.2. This is 24% above the recession low, and 3% above the pre-recession peak.
The increase in industrial production was at the consensus forecast – however July was revised down, and capacity utilization was below concensus.