From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
Industrial production increased 0.9 percent in July after moving up 0.2 percent in June. In July, manufacturing output rose 1.4 percent. About half of the gain in factory output is attributable to a jump of 11.2 percent for motor vehicles and parts, as a number of vehicle manufacturers trimmed or canceled their typical July shutdowns. Despite the large increase last month, vehicle assemblies continued to be constrained by a persistent shortage of semiconductors; the production of motor vehicles and parts in July was about 3-1/2 percent below its recent peak in January 2021. The output of utilities decreased 2.1 percent in July, while the index for mining rose 1.2 percent.
At 101.1 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in July was 6.6 percent above its year-earlier level but 0.2 percent below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 0.7 percentage point in July to 76.1 percent, a rate that is 3.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up from the record low set in April 2020, but still below the level in February 2020.
Capacity utilization at 76.1% is 3.5% below the average from 1972 to 2020.
Note: y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the change.
Industrial production increased in July to 101.1. This is 0.2% below the February 2020 level.
The change in industrial production was above consensus expectations, probably due to vehicle manufacturers not shutting down in July.