Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Industrial Production Growth Slows As Manufacturing Misses, Capacity Utilization Highest Since 2008

by Tyler Durden

Last month's industrial production beat was revised up dramatically to its biggest beat since 1998 - courtesy of the annual revision of the data series as noted below - which left this month showing fading growth. Perhaps more disappointingly was the 4th miss of the last 5 months for manufacturiung production. Capacity Utlization rose to an impressive 79.2% as "slack" in the un-job-producing economy is rapidly disappearing. This was also the highest capicty utilization print (once again courtesy of the annual data revision) since June 2008.

Manufacturing missed 4th of last 5 months... and dropped

From the Fed:

Industrial production increased 0.7 percent in March after having advanced 1.2 percent in February. The rise in February was higher than previously reported primarily because of stronger gains for durable goods manufacturing and for mining. For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production moved up at an annual rate of 4.4 percent, just slightly slower than in the fourth quarter of 2013. In March, the output of manufacturing rose 0.5 percent, the output of utilities increased 1.0 percent, and the output of mines gained 1.5 percent. At 103.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in March was 3.8 percent above its level of a year earlier. Capacity utilization for total industry increased in March to 79.2 percent, a rate that is 0.9 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2013) average but 1.2 percentage points higher than a year prior

And by group:

In March, manufacturing production recorded an increase of 0.5 percent; factory output rose 1.4 percent in February, 0.5 percentage point faster than previously reported. For the first quarter, the index for manufacturing increased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent, with similarly sized gains for durables and nondurables. The factory operating rate moved up 0.2 percentage point in March to 76.7 percent, a rate 2.0 percentage points below its long-run average.

* * *

In March, mining output climbed 1.5 percent, its fifth consecutive monthly increase; over the past year, the index has risen 7.9 percent. The output of utilities rose 1.0 percent; unseasonably cold temperatures since the start of the year led to a jump in the index of 17.9 percent at an annual rate for the first quarter. The utilization rate for mining, 89.1 percent, was nearly 2 percentage points above its long-run average, while the operating rate for utilities, 85.0 percent, was about 1 percentage point below its long-run average.

Capacity utilization rates in March for industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 0.6 percentage point to 87.0 percent, a rate 0.7 percentage point above its long-run average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization moved up 0.5 percentage point to 78.1 percent, a rate 2.7 percentage points below its long-run average; at the finished stage, utilization rose 0.1 percentage point to 76.7 percent, a rate 0.4 percentage point below its long-run average

Finally, as noted earlier, on March 28 the Fed concluded its annual IP and Cap Utilization data revision, which incidentally led to the surge in the February data (but... but... harsh weather). Those curious can find the full breakdown at this link, but the main visual breakdown of the pre- and post-revision data is below.

See the original article >>

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