In May, the production of consumer goods edged up 0.1 percent to a level that is 3.1 percent higher than a year earlier. The index for consumer durables increased 0.9 percent, while the indexes for consumer non-energy nondurables and consumer energy products decreased 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. All of the major components of consumer durables posted gains, with the largest advance—1.5 percent—registered by automotive products. Among consumer non-energy nondurables, declines in the indexes for foods and tobacco, for clothing, and for paper products were partially offset by a gain in the index for chemical products. Within consumer energy products, a decline in the index for residential utilities slightly more than offset an increase in the output of fuels.
Manufacturing production increased 0.6 percent in May after having edged down 0.1 percent in April; previously, factory output was reported to have declined 0.4 percent in April. In May, the index was 3.6 percent above its level of a year earlier but 1.3 percent below its peak in December 2007. The factory operating rate moved up 0.3 percentage point in May to 77.0 percent, its highest level since March 2008 but still 1.7 percentage points below its long-run average.
Mining output advanced 1.3 percent in May following gains of more than 1 1/2 percent in each of the previous two months. Increases were widespread within mining, including oil and gas extraction, coal mining, and drilling and related activities. The index for mining was 9.7 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization at mines increased 0.8 percentage point in May to 91.0 percent, a rate 3.7 percentage points above its long-run average. The output of utilities moved down 0.8 percent, its fourth consecutive decline. The operating rate for utilities fell 0.8 percentage point to 79.1 percent, a rate 7.0 percentage points below its long-run average.