2015 Economic Calendar
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Industrial Production  
Released On 4/15/2015 9:15:00 AM For Mar, 2015
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Production - M/M change0.1 %-0.3 %-0.9 % to 0.3 %-0.6 %
Manufacturing - M/M-0.2 %0.2 %-0.1 % to 0.4 %0.1 %
Capacity Utilization Rate - Level78.9 %78.7 %78.1 % to 79.2 %78.4 %
cap util - level78.949 index level

Highlights
The manufacturing sector remains sluggish. Industrial production for March fell 0.6 percent after a February rise of 0.1 percent. The March drop was largely due to utilities although manufacturing was soft. Market expectations were for a 0.3 percent fall for overall production in March.

Manufacturing edged up 0.1 percent in March after dipping 0.2 percent the month before. Analysts projected a 0.2 percent increase.

Mining dropped 0.7 percent in March after a 1.6 percent decrease the prior month. Utilities plunged 5.9 percent after surging 5.7 percent in February.

The production of durable goods moved up 0.2 percent, on the strength of a rebound in the production of motor vehicles and parts. The output of primary metals declined 3.2 percent to register the largest loss among durable goods industries. The production of nondurable goods moved up 0.1 percent; decreases in the indexes for paper, for chemicals, and for plastics and rubber products mostly offset gains by the other major nondurables industries. The production of other manufacturing industries (publishing and logging) fell 0.4 percent. The decrease of 0.7 percent for mining reflected a drop of 17 1/2 percent in the index for oil and gas well drilling and servicing that was partly offset by gains in crude oil and natural gas extraction and by a bounce back in coal mining.

Overall capacity utilization declined to 78.4 percent from 79.0 percent in February.

The manufacturing sector remains soft and the latest numbers will likely keep the Fed in a delayed mode for policy changes.

Consensus Outlook
Industrial production continued to be soft in February and the manufacturing sector continued to struggle. Industrial production for February edged up 0.1 percent after declining 0.3 percent in January. Overall industrial production was supported by a spike in utilities-other major components declined. Manufacturing dipped 0.2 percent in February after falling 0.3 percent the month before. This was the third consecutive decline for this component. The manufacturing drop was worse than analysts' forecast for a 0.1 percent rise. Notably, manufacturing was revised down for January from plus 0.2 percent to minus 0.3 percent. Mining dropped 2.5 percent in February after a 1.3 percent decrease the prior month. Utilities surged 7.3 percent after gaining 1.0 percent in January.

Overall capacity utilization slipped to 78.9 percent from 79.1 percent in January.

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 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
 
[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
 
 

2015 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/162/183/164/155/156/157/158/149/1510/1611/1712/16
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