Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in February; for the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3 percent at an annual rate. Manufacturing production was unchanged in March after declining in both January and February. The index for utilities rose 0.2 percent, while mining output moved down 0.8 percent. At 110.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 2.8 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in March to 78.8 percent, a rate that is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up 12.1 percentage points from the record low set in June 2009 (the series starts in 1967).
Capacity utilization at 78.8% is 1.0% 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 decreased in March to 109.7. This is 27% above the recession low, and 4.6% above the pre-recession peak.
The decrease in industrial production and decrease in capacity utilization were below consensus.