U.S. September Industrial Production and Capacity Report (Text)

Following is the text of the U.S. industrial production and capacity utilization report for September released by the Federal Reserve.

Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in September after having been unchanged in August. Previously, industrial production was reported to have stepped up 0.2 percent in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. Manufacturing output moved up 0.4 percent in September after having gained 0.3 percent in August. Production at mines advanced 0.8 percent in September, while the output of utilities decreased 1.8 percent. At 94.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production for September was 3.2 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry edged up to 77.4 percent, a rate 1.7 percentage points above its level from a year earlier but 3.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2010) average.

Market Groups

The output of consumer goods increased 0.1 percent in September. The index for durable consumer goods rose 0.9 percent; gains in the production of automotive products, home electronics, and miscellaneous goods more than offset a decline in the output of appliances, furniture, and carpeting. The production of nondurable consumer goods edged down 0.1 percent, as a decrease in the index for consumer energy outweighed a rise in the output of other nondurable consumer goods. The gain for non-energy nondurables reflected higher output for food and tobacco; the indexes for its other three major categories-- clothing, chemicals, and paper--all fell. For the third quarter, the output of consumer goods increased at an annual rate of 3.7 percent after having decreased 1.6 percent in the second quarter.

In September, the production of business equipment rose 1.0 percent, its third consecutive gain of 1 percent or more, and was 10.3 percent above its year-earlier level. The index for transit equipment advanced 1.9 percent, the index for information processing equipment moved up 1.4 percent, and the production of industrial and other equipment increased 0.3 percent. For the third quarter, the output of business equipment rose at an annual rate of 12.6 percent. The output of transit equipment jumped 31.8 percent, the largest increase among the major components of business equipment for the quarter. The principal contributors to the gain were civilian aircraft and trucks.

The production of defense and space equipment increased 1.2 percent in September after a similarly sized gain in August.

The index for construction supplies rose 0.2 percent in September for its fifth consecutive monthly increase. In the third quarter, the production of construction supplies advanced at an annual rate of 6.3 percent, its largest quarterly increase in more than a year. The production of business supplies moved down 0.2 percent in September after having declined 0.4 percent in August, but in the third quarter overall, output rose at an annual rate of 2.4 percent. The output of materials to be further processed in the industrial sector edged up 0.1 percent in September after having recorded a 0.2 percent loss in August. The index for durable materials increased 0.2 percent and was up for a third consecutive month in September. Among the major categories of durable materials, consumer parts rose 0.3 percent, equipment parts increased 0.7 percent, and other consumer durables fell slightly. Following a decrease of 0.6 percent in August, the production of nondurable materials increased 0.4 percent in September, with gains in textile, paper, and chemical materials partly offset by decreases for containers and miscellaneous nondurable materials. The output of energy materials edged down in September. For the third quarter, the output of materials rose at an annual rate of 4.8 percent after having been little changed in the second quarter.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing output increased 0.4 percent in September to a level that was 3.9 percent higher than a year earlier. The factory operating rate moved up to 75.1 percent, a rate 10.7 percentage points above its trough in June 2009, but still 3.9 percentage points below its long-run average.

The output of durable goods manufacturing increased 0.6 percent in September and was 7.9 percent above its year-earlier level. Output gains of more than 2 percent were recorded in wood products and in aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, while output gains of at least 1 percent were recorded for computer and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and miscellaneous manufacturing. Production for four major components of durables declined: nonmetallic mineral products, primary metals, fabricated metal products, and furniture and related products.

The production index for nondurable manufacturing moved up 0.2 percent in September. Output rose at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the third quarter after having declined by the same amount in the second quarter. Among the major components of nondurables, paper posted the largest increase in September, and production rose slightly for food, beverage, and tobacco products; chemicals; and plastics and rubber products. The output of apparel and leather dropped 1.2 percent for its second consecutive monthly decrease; the index for printing fell 0.5 percent and was 3.1 percent below its year-earlier level. The index for other manufacturing (non-NAICS), which consists of publishing and logging, decreased 0.7 percent in September.

Mining production increased 0.8 percent in September, and gains were widespread among mined energy components. Capacity utilization in mining rose to 91.3 percent, a rate 3.9 percentage points above its long-run average. The output of utilities moved down 1.8 percent as temperatures in September moderated following an unseasonably hot August. The operating rate for utilities declined to 77.6 percent, a rate 9.0 percentage points below its long-run average.

Capacity utilization rates in September at industries by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 0.8 percentage point to 88.8 percent, a rate 2.4 percentage points above its long-run average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization moved down 0.4 percentage point to 73.9 percent, a rate 7.4 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization gained 0.2 percentage point to 76.7 percent, a rate 0.6 percentage point below its long-run average.

REFERENCES AND RELEASE DATES References

The release for the annual revision that was published on March 25, 2011 is available on the Board’s website (www.federal reserve.gov/releases/g17/revisions/Current/DefaultRev.htm). A summary of the annual revision that incorporated back to 1972 production and capacity indexes reclassified according to the North American Industry Classification System is available in an article in the Federal Reserve Bulletin, vol. 89 (April 2003), pp. 151-176. A description of the aggregation methods for industrial production and capacity utilization is included in an article in the Federal Reserve Bulletin, vol. 83 (February 1997), pp. 67-92. The Federal Reserve methodology for constructing industry-level measures of capital is detailed in “Capital Stock Estimates for Manufacturing Industries: Methods and Data” by Mike Mohr and Charles Gilbert (1996), which can be obtained at: www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/CapitalStockDocLatest.pdf.

Industrial Production--1986 Edition contains a more detailed description of the other methods used to compile the industrial production index, plus a history of its development, a glossary of terms, and a bibliography. The major revisions to the IP indexes and capacity utilization since 1990 have been described in the Federal Reserve Bulletin (April 1990, June 1990, June 1993, March 1994, January 1995, January 1996, February 1997, February 1998, January 1999, March 2000, March 2001, March 2002, April 2003, Winter 2004, Winter 2005, March 2006, May 2007, August 2008, August 2009) or in an on-line staff study (www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/articles/rev2010/industrial 10.pdf).

Release Schedule At 9:15 a.m. on 2011: January 14, February 16, March 17, April 15, May 17, June 15, July 15, August 16, September 15, October 17, November 16, and December 15. 2012: January 18, February 15, March 16, April 17, May 16, June 15, July 17, August 15, September 14, October 16, November 16, and December 14.

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