Industrial Production Increased 0.7 Percent in April

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Total industrial production increased 0.7 percent in April. The indexes for mining and utilities increased 0.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively; the index for manufacturing rose 0.4 percent despite a drop in motor vehicle assemblies that principally resulted from shortages of semiconductors. An important contributor to the gain in factory output was the return to operation of plants that were damaged by February’s severe weather in the south central region of the country and had remained offline in March. The weather-induced drop in total industrial production in February and the subsequent rebound in March are now estimated to have been larger than reported last month.

At 106.3 percent of its 2012 average in April, total industrial production has moved up 16.5 percent from its level in April 2020 (the trough of the pandemic), but it was 2.7 percent below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 0.5 percentage point in April to 74.9 percent, a rate that is 4.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
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Capacity Utilization Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows Capacity Utilization. This series is up from the record low set in April, but still below the level in February 2020.

Capacity utilization at 74.9% is 4.7% below the average from 1972 to 2020.

Note: y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the change.

Industrial ProductionThe second graph shows industrial production since 1967.

Industrial production increased in April to  106.3. This is 2.7% below the February 2020 level.

The change in industrial production was below consensus expectations.