Industrial production increased 0.4 percent in August after moving up 0.8 percent in July. Late-month shutdowns related to Hurricane Ida held down the gain in industrial production by an estimated 0.3 percentage point. Although the hurricane forced plant closures for petrochemicals, plastic resins, and petroleum refining, overall manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent. Mining production fell 0.6 percent, reflecting hurricane-induced disruptions to oil and gas extraction in the Gulf of Mexico. The output of utilities increased 3.3 percent, as unseasonably warm temperatures boosted demand for air conditioning.
At 101.6 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in August was 5.9 percent above its year-earlier level and 0.3 percent above its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 0.2 percentage point in August to 76.4 percent, a rate that is 3.2 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, and slightly above the level in February 2020.
Capacity utilization at 76.4% is 3.2% below the average from 1972 to 2020.
Note: y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the change.
Industrial production increased in August to 101.6. This is 0.3% above the February 2020 level.
The change in industrial production was slightly below consensus expectations.