This data is from the Federal Reserve and is seasonally adjusted. The index is based on the May 2012 level being defined as 100. The Industrial Production Index had an all-time high of 106.70 in November 2014 and had trended down since then. Industrial production increased 0.5% in March on the heels of a 0.1% increase in February. The increase in March was primarily due to a jump of 8.6% in the output of utilities which was tracked to a surge in demand for home heating.
Manufacturing output was down 0.4% in March, caused primarily from a decline in motor vehicles and parts production. Manufacturing other than automotive was down 0.2%. For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production increased at an annual rate of 1.5%.
Figure 1 illustrates the US industrial production from 2010 to present as a three month moving average, (3MMA) on the left hand Y axis. Year on year change in percent is shown on the right hand Y axis. The 3MMA in March was 103.7, up 0.5% month on month and up 0.7% year on year.
Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.4 of a point in March to 76.1%, a rate that is 3.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average. The specific sub-category capacity utilization figure for manufacturing was a shade lower at 75.3% in March. Service center all carbon steel shipments are correlated (0.754) to manufacturing capacity utilization, however breaking-out just long product carbon steel shipments, the correlation falls to just 0.502. This makes sense since we know that a high ratio of long products are consumed in construction projects.
We monitor US Industrial Production at Gerdau because it gives a real time evaluation of the current health and insight on the short-range future of the manufacturing sector.