Industrial Production Edged Down 0.1 percent in March

Industrial production increased 0.1 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in February; for the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3 percent at an annual rate. according to the Federal Reserve. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in March to 78.8 percent, a rate that is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2018) average.

Manufacturing output was unchanged in March and moved down at an annual rate of 1.1 percent in the first quarter. The output of durables edged down in March. Losses of more than 2 percent were registered by wood products and by motor vehicles and parts, while gains of more than 1 percent were registered by primary metals and by computer and electronic products. Capacity utilization for manufacturing edged down 0.1 percentage point in March to 76.4 percent, about 2 percentage points below its long-run average.

Mining output declined 0.8 percent but remained 10.5 percent above its level of a year earlier.

The output of utilities rose 0.2 percent in March; the output of natural gas utilities climbed nearly 4 percent, while the output of electric utilities stepped down.

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About Author

Hugo Dante

Hugo Dante is a research associate in the Economic Policy and Research group at the ABA.