Recent Updates

  • Pakistan: BOP (Sep)
  • China Sector: China: Energy Sector Statistics (Sep)
  • China Sector: China: Real Estate Statistics (Sep)
  • China Sector: China: Transportation Statistics (Sep)
  • France: Central Government Debt (Sep), Financing Access Survey (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Slips
by Tom Moeller  April 16, 2019

Industrial production eased 0.1% as expected (+2.8% y/y) during March after a 0.1% February improvement. Factory output held steady (1.0% y/y) following two straight months of modest decline. Data back through 2017 were revised.

Output weakness last month was led by a 0.2% decline in consumer goods production which followed a 0.6% rise in February. Durable consumer goods production fell sharply. The 1.8% decline (-2.1% y/y) was led by a 2.3% drop (-3.6% y/y) in production of automotive products. Working lower by 1.4% (11.0% y/y) was production of computers, video & audio products. Appliance, furniture & carpeting production fell 1.4% (-3.4% y/y). Output of nondurable goods rose 0.3% (+0.4% y/y) as food & tobacco production eased 0.1% (-0.6% y/y). Clothing production improved 0.2% (-14.4% y/y). Chemical product output increased 0.9% (1.6% y/y) and paper product production gained 0.3% (-7.4% y/y). Energy product output rose 0.5% (2.8% y/y). Production of business equipment rose 0.4% (3.7% y/y as computer output strengthened 1.5% (6.2% y/y). Industrial equipment output gained 0.3% (3.8% y/y), but production of transit equipment offset these gains with a 0.3% decline (+1.7% y/y). Information processing production increased 1.5% (6.2% y/y). Non-industrial supplies production improved 0.1% (+0.7% y/y) after declining 0.4%.

Materials production eased 0.3% (+4.5% y/y) as consumer parts production fell 1.8% (-5.7% y/y). Equipment parts offset this decline with a 0.8% rise (6.1% y/y). Textile materials production improved 0.8% (7.2% y/y).

Selected high-tech product output gained 0.2% (3.5% y/y) as semiconductor production rose 0.4% (4.6% y/y). Computer & office equipment production was unchanged (-3.7% y/y) and communication equipment output eased 0.1% (+10.0% y/y). Manufacturing production excluding high-tech and the motor vehicle industry rose 0.2% (1.5% y/y).

Overall capacity utilization eased to 78.8% from an upwardly revised 79.0%. A rate of 79.2% had been expected. Factory sector utilization edged lower to 76.4% from 76.5%. Utilization in the mining sector was 90.9% and 79.9% in the utility sector. Manufacturing sector capacity rose 0.9% y/y following a 0.4% rise in 2018 and two years of 0.7% growth.

Industrial production and capacity utilization data are included in Haver's USECON database. Additional detail on production and capacity can be found in the IP database. The expectations figures come from the AS1REPNA database.

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2018 2017 2016
Total Output -0.1 0.1 -0.3 2.8 3.9 2.3 -2.0
Manufacturing 0.0 -0.3 -0.5 1.0 2.3 2.0 -0.8
    Consumer Goods -0.2 0.6 -1.2 0.1 2.1 0.5 0.6
    Business Equipment 0.4 -0.8 0.1 3.7 3.3 3.6 -5.3
    Construction Supplies 0.4 -1.4 0.0 1.4 2.8 3.4 0.9
  Materials -0.3 0.1 -0.2 4.5 5.9 2.7 -3.0
Utilities 0.2 3.7 0.6 4.1 4.4 -0.8 -0.4
Mining -0.8 0.0 -0.2 10.5 12.4 7.4 -10.0
Capacity Utilization (%) 78.8 79.0 79.1 78.2 78.7 76.5 75.0
  Manufacturing 76.4 76.5 76.8 76.3 76.6 75.1 74.2
close
large image