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

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

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production declined 0.1 percent in February after having risen 0.3 percent in January; output in January was previously estimated to have edged down 0.1 percent. Manufacturing output increased 0.4 percent in February, and the gain in January was revised up to 0.9 percent. Outside of manufacturing, the output of mines rose 0.8 percent in February, which more than reversed its decline in January. However, the output of utilities fell 4.5 percent--the drop reflected unseasonably warm weather in February, which reduced the demand for heating after two months of unseasonably cold temperatures. At 95.5 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production was 5.6 percent above its year-earlier level. The capacity utilization rate for total industry edged down 0.1 percentage point to 76.3 percent, a rate 4.2 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2010.

Market Groups

The production of consumer goods fell 0.5 percent in February, largely because of weakness in consumer energy products. The output of consumer durable goods rose 2.4 percent, with gains in all of its major categories. The production of consumer automotive products advanced 3.5 percent, and the index for home electronics moved up 1.0 percent. The index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting climbed 3.1 percent, which almost offset its decline over the two previous months, and the production of miscellaneous consumer durables increased 0.6 percent. The output of non-energy nondurable goods moved down 0.2 percent. Reductions in the production of foods and tobacco, of chemical products, and of paper products more than offset an increase in clothing output. The output of consumer energy products fell 5.2 percent, largely because of a drop in residential sales by electric and natural gas utilities.

The output of business equipment rose 0.5 percent in February; the average monthly gain of nearly 1.2 percent in January and February was unchanged from the average rate of increase in the fourth quarter. Within business equipment, the output of transit equipment moved up 1.2 percent in February, and the index for information processing equipment increased 0.6 percent. The production of industrial and other equipment rose 0.2 percent--lower output of farm and construction machinery partly offset gains elsewhere in this category.

In February, the production index for defense and space equipment climbed 1.7 percent after posting a small increase in the previous month. Over the past 12 months, this index has risen 4.2 percent.

Among nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies was unchanged in February and up only slightly since November. The production of business supplies fell 0.6 percent in February, mostly because of a decline in commercial sales by electric and natural gas utilities. The index for non-energy business supplies edged up 0.1 percent--its fourth consecutive monthly increase.

The output of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector rose 0.1 percent in February. The index for non-energy materials increased 0.3 percent; the production of durable materials moved up 0.5 percent, but the output of nondurables was unchanged. The indexes for all of the major components of durable materials advanced with the largest gain being a 2.0 percent increase in consumer parts. Among nondurable materials, increases in the output of textile materials and paper materials were offset by a step-down in the production of chemical materials. The index for energy materials declined 0.2 percent, as drops in coal mining, electricity generation, and natural gas transmission were partly offset by gains elsewhere.

Industry Groups

In February, manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent, and over the past 12 months the level of factory production has climbed almost 7 percent. Capacity utilization for manufacturing moved up 0.2 percentage point to 74.3 percent, a rate 4.8 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2010 but almost 9 percentage points above its trough in June 2009.

The production of durable goods advanced 0.9 percent in February, and gains were widespread across its major categories. The output of motor vehicles and parts rose 4.2 percent following an increase of 4.5 percent in January; since December 2010, total motor vehicle assemblies have risen about 1 million units to an annual rate of 8.5 million units. Sizable gains also were recorded in February in wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; computer and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; furniture and related products; and miscellaneous manufacturing. Among other industries, the indexes for fabricated metal products and for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment recorded small increases, the index for machinery was unchanged, and the index for primary metals decreased.

Production in nondurable manufacturing was unchanged in February. Declines in the indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products; chemicals; and plastic and rubber products were offset by gains elsewhere. Production in the non-NAICS manufacturing industries (logging and publishing) was down 0.8 percent.

In February, mining output rose 0.8 percent, and capacity utilization moved up 0.6 percentage point to 88.4 percent, a rate 1.0 percentage point above its average for the period 1972 to 2010. The gain in mining output largely reflected higher crude oil and natural gas extraction along with increased support activity for mining. The output of utilities dropped 4.5 percent, and the capacity utilization rate fell to 78.0 percent, a rate 8.5 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2010.

Capacity utilization rates in February at industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 0.5 percentage point to 88.3 percent, a rate 1.9 percentage points above its long-run (1972 to 2010) average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization fell 0.8 percentage point to 73.0 percent, a rate 8.4 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization rose 0.3 percentage point to 75.6 percent, a rate 1.8 percentage points below its long-run average. Revision of Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

The Federal Reserve Board plans to issue its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization on March 25, 2011, at 12:00 noon EDT. The revised IP indexes will incorporate detailed data from the 2009 Annual Survey of Manufactures, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data from selected editions of the Census Bureau’s 2009 Current Industrial Reports and annual data from the U.S. Geological Survey regarding metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels) for 2009 will also be incorporated. The update will include revisions to the monthly indicator (either product data or input data) and to seasonal factors for each industry. In addition, the estimation methods for some series may be changed. Any modifications to the methods for estimating the output of an industry will affect the index from 1972 to the present.

Capacity and capacity utilization will be revised to incorporate additional data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity, which covers manufacturing, along with new data on capacity from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Energy, and other organizations.

Once the revision is published, it will be available on the Board’s website at Further information on the revision can be obtained from the Board’s Industrial Output Section (telephone number 202-452-3197). Explanatory Note

The Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization statistical release, which is published around the middle of the month, reports measures of output, capacity, and capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and the electric and gas utilities industries. More detailed descriptions of industrial production and capacity utilization are available on the Board’s website at In addition, the website includes files containing data shown in the release, more detailed series that are published in a monthly supplement to the G.17, and historical data. Instructions on searching for and downloading specific series are provided as well.

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.

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