Recent Updates

  • Estonia: Dwelling Permits & Completions (Q3), Motor Vehicle Registrations (Sep); Kazakhstan: Export by Commodity (Aug)
  • Japan: Construction Works Put in Place (Aug)
  • Singapore: International Trade (Sep); Malaysia: Labor Force (Aug)
  • New Zealand: Government Securities (Sep), CPI (Q3), Registered Banks (Q2); Australia: New Motor Vehicle Sales (Sep)
  • New Zealand: CPI by Region (Q3); Australia: New Motor Vehicle Sales by Region (Sep)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Declines Are Broad-Based
by Tom Moeller  April 15, 2016

Industrial output declined 0.6% during March after a 0.6% February drop, revised from -0.5%. No change in output had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Annual data revisions, released earlier this month, lowered production growth during 2015 and 2014.

The decline in oil prices pulled down output in the mining sector by 2.9% last month (-13.0% y/y). It has fallen 16.1% since the peak in December 2014. Warm weather reduced utility output 1.2%, and it is down 7.7% y/y.

Factory sector production declined 0.3% last month (+0.4% y/y) following downwardly revised readings of -0.1% and +0.4% in the prior two months. Consumer goods production eased 0.4% (+0.1% y/y) as motor vehicle output declined 1.6% (+5.0% y/y). Electrical equipment production declined 1.7% (+0.8% y/y) and machinery output was off 0.4% (-4.7% y/y). Working the other way, computer & electronic product production rose 0.9% (2.9% y/y).

In the nondurable goods sector, petroleum & coal production increased 1.0% (4.9% y/y) and chemical output rose 0.3% (1.5% y/y). Apparel output declined 0.6% (-5.8% y/y) and paper product production fell 0.6% (-2.9% y/y) as well. In the utilities sector, natural gas output declined 4.6% (-12.1% y/y), but electric power generation eased a lesser 0.8% (-7.2% y/y).

In the subcategory groupings, output of high technology products rose 0.5% (2.1% y/y) as computer & office equipment production gained 2.4% (-3.9% y/y). Communications equipment eased 0.1% (+1.8% y/y), but semiconductor output rose 0.4% (3.5% y/y). Overall factory sector production, excluding the high-tech & motor vehicle sectors, fell 0.2% (-0.1% y/y) for a second month.

Capacity utilization declined to 74.8% last month from 75.3%, revised from 76.7%. That was down from 78.9% in November 2014. Factory sector utilization fell to 75.1%, down from the 2014 high of 76.3%. Industry capacity rose 1.2% y/y while factory sector capacity improved 0.8% y/y.

Industrial production and capacity data are included in Haver's USECON database, with additional detail in the IP database. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total Output -0.6 -0.6 0.5 -2.0 0.3 2.9 1.9
Manufacturing -0.3 -0.1 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.3 0.9
    Consumer Goods -0.4 -0.8 1.5 0.1 1.4 0.7 0.7
    Business Equipment -0.4 0.3 0.0 -1.7 0.7 2.4 -0.2
    Construction Supplies -1.2 0.0 -0.3 1.4 1.5 3.7 3.0
  Materials -0.8 -0.7 0.2 -3.6 0.5 4.7 3.3
Utilities -1.2 -3.6 3.3 -7.7 -0.7 1.3 2.3
Mining -2.9 -1.0 -1.6 -13.0 -1.8 11.0 6.5
Capacity Utilization (%) 74.8 75.3 75.8 77.3 76.7 78.2 76.9
 Manufacturing 75.1 75.4 75.5 75.5 75.5 75.4 74.5
close
large image