2018 Economic Calendar
POWERED BY  econoday logo
U.S. & Intl Recaps   |   Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar   |   

Industrial Production  
Released On 3/16/2018 9:15:00 AM For Feb, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Production - M/M change-0.1 %-0.3 %0.4 %0.0 % to 0.7 %1.1 %
Manufacturing - M/M0.0 %-0.2 %0.4 %0.2 % to 1.0 %1.2 %
Capacity Utilization Rate - Level77.5 %77.4 %77.7 %77.4 % to 77.9 %78.1 %

Industrial production showed life in February, up 1.1 percent but following a soft run that is underscored by a 2 tenths downward revision to January which is now minus 0.3 percent. But February was a very good month, boosted by a 4.3 percent jump in mining where production has been strong for the past year and also long-awaited strength in manufacturing which rose 1.2 percent to top Econoday's high forecast.

The details in manufacturing are very positive with strength centered in business equipment, where rising production points to rising business investment, and also construction supplies which are in demand as builders restock the housing sector. Production of vehicles also picked up as did the selected hi-tech sector which, like mining, has been an important positive for the industrial sector.

February was held back by a 4.7 percent decline in utility production which is subject to weather-related volatility. And a special sign of strength comes from capacity utilization which jumped 7 tenths to 78.1 percent and which will take the notice of Federal Reserve hawks who are looking for capacity stress and related inflationary risks. Yet one month of strength is only one month and a run of strength, especially in manufacturing, will have to unfold before any immediate inflationary concerns develop.

Note that traditional non-NAICS numbers for industrial production may differ marginally from NAICS basis figures.

Consensus Outlook
Industrial production has been held back by weakness in the report's manufacturing component though a bounce back, based on a factory-hour rise in the employment report, is the call for February, at a 0.4 percent increase overall and also a 0.4 percent gain for manufacturing. Overall capacity utilization has been on the climb and another increase is expected, to 77.7 percent vs January's 77.5 percent.

The Federal Reserve's monthly index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities. The industrial sector, together with construction, accounts for the bulk of the variation in national output over the course of the business cycle. The production index measures real output and is expressed as a percentage of real output in a base year, currently 2012. The capacity index, which is an estimate of sustainable potential output, is also expressed as a percentage of actual output in 2012. The rate of capacity utilization equals the seasonally adjusted output index expressed as a percentage of the related capacity index.

The index of industrial production is available nationally by market and industry groupings. The major groupings are comprised of final products (such as consumer goods, business equipment and construction supplies), intermediate products and materials. The industry groupings are manufacturing (further subdivided into durable and nondurable goods), mining and utilities. The capacity utilization rate -- reflecting the resource utilization of the nation's output facilities -- is available for the same market and industry groupings.

Industrial production was also revised to NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) in the early 2000s. Unlike other economic series that lost much historical data prior to 1992, the Federal Reserve Board was able to reconstruct historical data that go back more than 30 years.  Why Investors Care
The industrial sector accounts for less than 20 percent of GDP. Yet, it creates much of the cyclical variability in the economy.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
The capacity utilization rate reflects the limits to operating the nation's factories, mines and utilities. In the past, supply bottlenecks created inflationary pressures as the utilization rate hit 84 to 85 percent.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/172/153/164/175/166/157/178/159/1410/1611/1612/14
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

powered by  [Econoday]