Manufacturing & The Economy
Industrial production decreased 0.5% in April after having increased 0.3% in March and 0.9% in February. Manufacturing output moved down 0.4% in April after a decline of 0.3% in March. The index for utilities decreased 3.7% in April, as heating demand fell back to a more typical seasonal level after having been elevated in March because of unusually cold weather. The output of mines increased 0.9% in April. At 98.7% of its 2007 average, total industrial production was 1.9% above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry decreased 0.5% to 77.8%, a rate 0.1% above its level of a year earlier but 2.4% below its long-run (1972--2012) average.
After having declined 0.3% in March, manufacturing output decreased 0.4% in April; the index was 1.3% above its level of a year earlier. The factory operating rate moved down 0.4% to 75.9%, a rate 2.8% below its long-run average.
The production of durable goods moved down 0.6% in April. Output decreased for all major categories of durable goods except computer and electronic products. The largest drop was in the output of nonmetallic mineral products, which fell 1.7%. The production of motor vehicles and parts decreased 1.3%, and the indexes for the other major categories recorded smaller losses. Capacity utilization for durable manufacturing fell 0.7% to 75.7%, a rate 1.3% below its long-run average.