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FEDERAL

RESERVE

statistical

release
For immediate release
April 17

G.3

CAPACITY UTILIZATION:

MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS

March 1978

Capacity utilization in manufacturing rose by an estimated 1 percentage point in March to 82.9 per cent. This increase brought manufacturing
operating rates back to levels maintained during the latter two-thirds of
1977. Operating rate gains were widespread throughout both the advanced
processing and primary processing sectors. A large increase in production of
transportation equipment, particularly production of motor vehicles, was a
significant factor in a sizable rise in capacity utilization in the advanced
processing sector.
Utilization of industrial materials capacity increased by about
0.8 percentage point in March to 81.7 per cent. Operating rates rose by
about the same amount in each of the three major subsectors. Operating rates in
the durable and nondurable materials subsectors have returned to values close
to those attained on average in the latter half of 1977. The operating rate
in the energy materials sector in March still was somewhat depressed by the
effects of the coal strike, as naany Eastern mines did not return to full
production until the end of the month.
Preliminary first quarter figures indicate that operating rates
both in manufacturing and in materials were down about 1 percentage point
from the last two quarters of 1977. However, the first quarter utilization
rates were up about 1 percentage point from the same quarter last year.


1966


MANUFACTURING

PER CENT
~1

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

100

TOTAL

ENERGY

—

80
TOTAL '

I

I I

I

60

I

100
NONDURABLE GOODS

PRIMARY PROCESSING

80

ADVANCED PROCESSING
DURABLE GOODS

I

1969

I

I

I

1972

I

I

I

I

1975

I

60

1978

1969

I

1972

I

I

I

1975

I

I

I

1978.

OUTPUT, CAPACITY AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Output and Capacity are Percentages of 1967 Output; Capacity Utilization is a Per Cent of Capacity.
Seasonally Adjusted

Manufacturing
MCNiHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
SERIES

1

IV 731

i
68.01

1975 1 197?
LOW 1 MAR.

APfe,.

MAY

JUNt

JULY

AUG.

SEP.

OC1. NOV.

LtL.

1976
JAN.

FfcB. MAR.

69.6

8/.3

bi.6

83.0

63.1

82.9

62.9

0«i«9

«2.V

63.0

61.7

81.9

PRIMARY PROCESSING

93.6

68.1

64.0

64.",

o5.5

05.5

65.3

85.1

64.4

84.7

64.7

83.4

63.8

85.*

70.4

61. C

bl.l

61.4

81.6

62.0

81.6

82.0

81.6

64.51
1
62.21

63.7

ADVANCED PROCESSING

80.4

81.1

82.4

IV

1978
1

i

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

HIGH!

62.1

OUTPUT
.

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

1977
1

11

111

133.1

136.9

138.7

PRIMARY PROCESSING

140.1

146.3

147.3

ADVANCED PROCESSING

129.3

132.0

134.2

CAPACITY
IV

19781
11

1977
1

139.91 139.91 164.0
1
1
1
1
148.21 147.81 170.<?
1
1
135.61 135.7) 160.7

11
165.6

111

167.1

171.8

173.5

Io2.2

163. 8

1
19761
11
1
1
168.71 170.31
1
1
175.11 176.6
1
165.31 166. S
IV

tfl.

9

82.9

UTILIZATION
1V77
1

11

111

01.2

62.7

e, 3.0

82.3

05.1

64.9

60.5

81.4

61.9

1
62.91
1
1
84.61
1
82.01
1

82.2

83.6
81.3

Industrial Materials
MLNTHLY C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N
StKlES

19731

HIGH!

1975

1977

LOW MAR.

Af'K.

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

&«.'.!

bi .7

83.0

62 .9

SEP.

OCT.

M A T E R l A L S t TOTAL
DURABLE GOODS M A T E R I A L S
BASIC METAL M A T E R I A L S

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

TEX.

PAPER

L LHEM MAT

T E X T I L E MATERIALS
PAPER M A T E R I A L S
CHEMICAL MATERIALS
ENERGY M A T E R I A L S

93 • 1 1 69.7
1
1
92.51
|
97.7|
1
1
94.61
1
CM* 51
1
94.4|
100.51
93.81
1
1
94.6|

81.6

77.6

76.7

79.4

79.9

oO.O

78.9

78.9

79. t>

66.1

78.4

79.3

61.2

80.2

77.6

74.8

73.4

75.6

74.2

67.8

67.0

67.0

67.7

d7.0

86.4

66.7

85.9

65.6

06.1

58.0
71.8
64.7

79.9
89.7
86.6

76.6
faB.3
37.5

7b.6
90.7
67. V

76.7
69.2
87.8

77.4
69.0
66.4

78.7
89.7
85.9

60.3
89.1
84.8

82.9
68.3
64.o

82.4
86.7
84.4

82.7

84.4

63. V

b4.5

85.8

86.3

83.6

84.9

65.2

84.4

OUTPUT

MATERIALS, TOTAL.
DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
BASIC M E T A L MATERIALS
NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
TEX., PAPtk, t CHEM. M A T .
TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS
ENERGY MATERIALS

NOTE:

7V.4

8 .

11

111

133.1

137.7

138.1

129.2

135.1

136.0

108.6

116.4

109.4

149.5

154.6

154.4

153.9

159.9

159.2

111.3
131.7
181.6

110.9
134.3
191.8

112.3
135.1
189.5

122.0

122.6

123.4

1978
JAN.

1
19781 1977

CAPACITY

|
19761 1977

1
1
oO.ll
I
7t>.7|
|
1
05.81
1
64 Of
02.01
65.21
84.31
1
I
81.4|

166.6

167.8

170.3

171.6

145.1

145.3

177.2

178.8

165.4

187.1

141.9
150.1
218.7

142.5
151.3
221.2

144.7

145.2

MAR.

1
168.91 170.4
1
|
172.81 174.0
I
145.51
1
1
180.41 182.3
I
188.91 190.8
I
143.01
152.51
223.61
|

60.4

8 1 .7

79.6

78.7

79.6

75.7

75.6

85.2

65.9

86.7

84 .6

84.6

85.4

60.1
87.7
65.0

60.7
86.5
65.0

82.1

78.9

62.6

111

82.3

76.5

79.4

79.2

73. G

8C.2

75.3

85.1

87.2

86.3

63.8

66.3

65.1

78.7
88.4
64.0

78.1
89.5
87.7

78.6
89.3
85.7

64.6

85. 0

1
145.7) 147.21 64.5
|
|

79.7

UTILIZATION
11

IV

|
|
136.91 138.71 165.5
|
1
1
137.71 138.01 169.0
1
1
1 144. ti
109.4*1
|
1
1
1
155.01 156.71 175.6
1
1
159.51 162.11 163.6
|
1
' 141.4
117.91
t 148.9
132.31
Ib8.9|
2 216.2
1
1
I
1
121.91 116.11 144.3
1
|

FEB.
80.9

64.3

Tf*l »J\

1977
1

1
NOV.
DhC.l
1

82 .0

1

IV

1
82.21
1
1
79.7|
1
75.21
1
1
85.91
1
84.51
1
82.4|
86.7|
84.51
1
1
83.71
I

1976
1
81.4

79.3

85.9
65.0

80.2

E S T I M A T E S OF ACTUAL OUTPUT ANO CAPACITY OUTPUT ARE BOTH EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGES Of- 1967 A C T U A L OUTPUT. ESTIMATES OF
C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N IN PERCENT ARE C A L C U L A T E AS R A T I O S OF (1) TMt FEDERAL RESERVE'S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUST R I A L PRODUCTION TO (2) THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF CAPACITY. INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS ARE ITEMS 6O1H PRODUCED AND USED AS INPUTS BY MANUFACTURING PLANTS* MINES AND U T I L I T I E S ; INDUSTRIAL M A T E R I A L S COVER MANY OF THE ITEMS REPRESENTED IN THE PRIMARY
PROCESSING GROUPING OF MANUFACTURING AS WELL AS SOME OF THE OUTPUT OF NINES AND UTILITIES — SUCH AS IRON ORE, CRUDE OIL, AND
ELECTRICITY SOLD TO INDUSTRY.
THE 1973 HIGHS AND 1975 LOWS IN CAPACITY U T I L I Z A T I O N , SHOWN IN THE TABLES ABOVE, ARE SPECIFIC TO EACH SERIES AND MAY OCCUR IN
D I F F E R E N T MONTHS. INDUSTRIAL PLANTS USUALLY OPERAlk AT CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATES THAT ARE WELL BELOW 100 PERCENT; NONE OF
THE BROAD AGGREGATE SERIES HAS EVER INDICATED A 100 PERCENT USE OF CAPACITY. CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATES AVERAGED ABOUT 83
PERCENT FOR MANUFACTURING FROM 1955 THROUGH 1977, AND ABOUT 65 PERCENT FOR INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS FOR 1967 THROUGH 1977. IN
MANUFACTURING AS A WHOLE, UTILIZATION RATES AS HIGH AS 90 PERCENT HAVE BEEN EXCEEDED ONLY IN WARTIME.
THE PEAK RATES OF UTILIZATION IN 1973 WERE ASSOCIATED WITH SIGNIFICANT UPWARD PRESSURE UN PRICES.

THE CAPACITY UTILIZATION ESTIMATES ARE DESCRIBED, AND HISTORICAL DATA. ARE PROVIDED* IN FEDERAL. EPSERVE nPAMiftPE Qt CAPACITY
Attfi CAPACITY U1IL17AT1UN. THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM PUBLICATION SERVICES, BOARD OF GOVERNORS Of THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM* WASHINGTON, D.C. 20551. THE PRICE IS *1.75 PER COPY; FOR TEN OR MORE* $1.50 EACH.