Mining and Utilities Drive Industrial Production Decline

Industrial production decreased 0.3 percent in April, the fifth consecutive monthly loss. From April 2014, the index increased 1.9 percent.

Output of utilities fell by 1.3 percent, an improvement from the 5.4 percent decline in March. Mining output decreased by 0.8 percent — the fourth consecutive monthly decrease — driven by a sharp fall in oil and gas well drilling. Manufacturing output was flat from March, as a small increase in the production of durables was offset by a small decrease in the output of nondurables .

The capacity utilization for the total industry was 78.2 percent, 1.9 percentage points below the 1972 – 2014 average.

Final products declined 0.5 percent, driven by declines in both consumer goods and business equipment. Nonindustrial supplies increased 0.2 percent as construction increased 0.1% and business supplies increased 0.3 percent. The index for materials declined 0.2 percent as a result of a 0.5 percent reduction in energy materials.