US Industrial Production Falls for 3rd Month

Industrial output in the United States shrank 0.4 percent in December from November of 2015, following an upwardly revised 0.9 percent drop in the previous period, mainly due to cutbacks for utilities and mining while manufacturing also edged down. For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production fell at an annual rate of 3.4 percent.

The index for utilities dropped 2.0 percent, as continued warmer-than-usual temperatures reduced demand for heating. 

Mining production decreased 0.8 percent in December for its fourth consecutive monthly decline. 

Manufacturing output slipped 0.1 percent in December. The output of durable goods moved up slightly in December. Among the categories of durables, the indexes for motor vehicles and parts and for primary metals each dropped more than 1.5 percent, while the indexes for electrical equipment, appliances, and components and for computer and electronic products each increased more than 1.5 percent. The output of nondurables declined 0.2 percent, led by a drop of 1.2 percent for petroleum and coal products and by a reduction of 0.8 percent for paper. These declines were partially offset by increases for plastics and rubber products and for textile and product mills. The output of other manufacturing industries (publishing and logging) fell 0.5 percent. The index for mining declined 0.8 percent because of a large drop in coal mining, while the index for utilities decreased 2.0 percent; both major categories recorded drops of more than 15 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter.

At 106.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in December was 1.8 percent below its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in December to 76.5 percent, a rate that is 3.6 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2014) average.

US Industrial Production Falls for 3rd Month

Federal Reserve | Joana Taborda |
1/15/2016 2:23:13 PM