2017 Economic Calendar
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Industrial Production  
Released On 3/17/2017 9:15:00 AM For Feb, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Production - M/M change-0.3 %-0.1 %0.2 %-0.1 % to 0.4 %0.0 %
Manufacturing - M/M0.2 %0.5 %0.4 %0.2 % to 0.5 %0.5 %
Capacity Utilization Rate - Level75.3 %75.5 %75.4 %75.1 % to 75.6 %75.4 %

Factory production, as signaled by record acceleration in advance anecdotal reports, is beginning to find its footing. The manufacturing component of the industrial production report jumped 0.5 percent in February to signal the largest increase in month-to-month volumes since July 2015. The gain includes strength in business equipment as well as auto production and is underscored by an outsized 3 tenths upward revision to January which also now stands at 0.5 percent.

Headline industrial production was unchanged, held down by another weak month for utilities tied to unseasonably warm weather. Utility production fell 5.7 percent in February following an even steeper 5.8 percent decline in January when the weather was also warm. Capacity utilization for utilities fell 4.4 percentage points in the month to 70.9 percent after falling 4.7 points in January.

Overall capacity utilization is little changed at 75.4 percent with manufacturing utilization up 3 tenths to 75.6 percent which is one of the better readings of the economic cycle. Mining (the 3rd major component of the report) continues to improve, showing a 2.7 percent monthly gain in volumes and an 80.5 percent capacity rate which is up 2.1 points and is the strongest rate since September 2015.

For the last several months regional reports like Empire State and especially the Philly Fed have been signaling a major breakout for the factory sector, one that, until today's data at least, had yet to appear in the numbers out of Washington. Today's report may mark the beginning of a significant climb for a sector that limped through 2016.

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

Consensus Outlook
Swings in utility output often skew the monthly readings for industrial production but the vast core of the report, manufacturing production, has been stubbornly flat. One pivot factor for manufacturing is vehicle production which fell sharply in January and which opens the way for a February bounce back. Forecasters see manufacturing production rising a solid 0.4 percent in February, up from the prior month's 0.2 percent gain, with overall industrial production rising 0.2 percent vs minus 0.3 percent in January. Mining is the report's third component and has been showing sporadic life. February's overall capacity utilization rate is expected to rise to 75.4 percent vs January's 75.3 percent.

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
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
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

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/153/174/185/166/157/148/179/1510/1711/1612/15
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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