2016 Economic Calendar
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Industrial Production  
Released On 1/15/2016 9:15:00 AM For Dec, 2015
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Production - M/M change-0.6 %-0.9 %-0.2 %-0.5 % to 0.5 %-0.4 %
Manufacturing - M/M0.0 %-0.1 %0.0 %-0.3 % to 0.4 %-0.1 %
Capacity Utilization Rate - Level77.0 %76.9 %76.9 %76.5 % to 77.5 %76.5 %

Highlights
December was not a good month for the industrial economy as industrial production fell a sharper-than-expected 0.4 percent. Utility output, down 2.0 percent, declined for a third straight month reflecting unseasonably warm temperatures. Mining, reflecting low commodity prices and contraction in energy extraction, has also been week, down 0.8 percent for a fourth straight decline. Turning to manufacturing, which is the most important component in this report, production fell 0.1 percent for a second straight month (November revised downward from an initial no-change reading).

Details on manufacturing include a second straight contraction for vehicles, down 1.7 percent following November's 1.5 percent decline. Weakness here, along with weakness in the motor vehicle component of this morning's retail sales report, will raise talk that the auto sector, which had been one of the highlights of the 2015 economy, may slow down in 2016, at least the early part of the year. Construction supplies are a positive, up 0.6 percent for the second strong showing in three months and confirming strength underway in data for construction spending.

Capacity utilization fell 4 tenths from a downwardly revised November to 76.5 percent. A low utilization rate, which is running roughly 4 percentage points below its long-term average, holds down the cost of goods.

Year-on-year rates confirm weakness, down 1.8 percent overall with utilities down 6.9 percent and mining down 11.2 percent. Manufacturing is in the plus column but it's nothing spectacular, at plus 0.8 percent.

Making matters worse is a downward revision to November, now at minus 0.9 percent vs an initial decline of 0.6 percent. Looking at the annualized rate for the fourth quarter, industrial production fell 3.4 percent though manufacturing did increase but not much, up 0.5 percent. Weather factors are skewing utility output but otherwise, readings are fundamentally soft and reflect the downturn in global demand made more severe for U.S. producers by strength in the dollar.

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

Recent History Of This Indicator
Manufacturing production in November, coming in unchanged, wasn't able to extend October's strength. And forecasters see no strength and no change for December. Industrial production, which includes utilities and mining, is expected to extend its declines, down 0.2 percent in what would be a fourth straight dip. Weakness in utilities reflects unseasonably warm temperatures while weakness in mining and manufacturing reflects weak energy and export markets.

Definition
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 2007. The capacity index, which is an estimate of sustainable potential output, is also expressed as a percentage of actual output in 2007. The rate of capacity utilization equals the seasonally adjusted output index expressed as a percentage of the related capacity index.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
 

2016 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/152/173/164/155/176/157/158/169/1510/1711/1612/14
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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