2015 Economic Calendar
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Industrial Production  
Released On 5/15/2015 9:15:00 AM For Apr, 2015
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Production - M/M change-0.6 %-0.3 %0.0 %-0.3 % to 0.4 %-0.3 %
Manufacturing - M/M0.1 %0.3 %0.2 %0.0 % to 0.4 %0.0 %
Capacity Utilization Rate - Level78.4 %78.6 %78.4 %78.1 % to 78.7 %78.2 %
cap util - level78.373 index level

Highlights
Industrial production is stalling, down 0.3 percent in April for a 5th straight monthly contraction. Factories are cutting back with capacity utilization down 4 tenths to 78.2 percent. And the manufacturing component, which has been flat to negative all year, is unchanged. All these readings are at or near the Econoday low-side forecasts.

Among manufacturing subcomponents, consumer goods output fell 0.3 percent with business goods down 0.4 percent. Construction supplies rose only fractionally but at 0.1 percent the reading is the best all year (this a reminder of how weak construction and housing has been). A positive is a second strong month for auto output, up 1.3 percent on top of March's 4.3 percent surge, but whether output increases further will depend on auto sales which, in yesterday's retail sales report, turned lower in April.

The two other main components in today's report show even greater weakness with mining, hurt by oil & gas, at minus 0.8 percent for the 6th contraction in 7 months and utilities at minus 1.3 percent for a 2nd straight decline.

The industrial economy remains flat and is holding down what is supposed to be the economy's springtime bounce. The news from the factory sector, including this morning's Empire State report, won't be pulling forward expectations for the Fed's first rate hike.

Consensus Outlook
Industrial production has been in the negative column more times than not, in 3 of the last 4 reports in fact. The consensus for April, at zero, isn't much better. The key component for this series, manufacturing, hasn't shown any life at all since November.

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
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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