U.S. Factory Output More Restrained Than First Estimated

Manufacturing in the U.S. was more restrained in recent years than previously estimated, according to annual revisions to industrial production data released by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

Output at factories, mines and utilities returned to its pre-recession peak in May 2014, seven months later than the Fed previously reported, according to the revisions. Total production increased slightly less than 2.5 percent annually from 2011 through 2013, then accelerated to 4.5 percent in 2014 before falling back so far this year.

Estimates of durable goods production for 2012 and 2013 were almost halved. Output of big-ticket items increased 3.5 percent in 2012 and 2 percent the following year. Previously, output was reported up 6 percent and 5 percent in those years, respectively.

Production of fabricated metals, machinery and computers and electronics showed “much slower gains than previously reported,” according to the report.

Capacity rates were also lower than initially reported. Factories, mines and utilities were operating at 77.8 percent capacity in this year’s second quarter, more than 2 percentage points below the average in data from 1972 to 2014.

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