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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
For Immediate release

G.3 (402)

CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Industrial Materials

August 17, 1987

Capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and utilities increased
to 8(h5 percent in July, 0.4 percentage point higher than its June level, which
was revised upward by 0.4 percentage point. Utilization in July was 1.3 percentage points above that a year earlier and the highest since January 1986 when it
was 80.9 percent. Despite the recent increases, utilization for total industry
remained a percentage point below the 1967-86 average of 81.5 percent.
In manufacturing the July utilization rate—at 81 percent—was about
half a percentage point above the 1967-86 average; however, it remained about 5
percentage points below the latest cyclical high in late 1978 and early 1979.
The July rates for mining and utilities, which continued their recent increases,
are still quite low relative to their respective 20-year averages. In July*
utilization rose 0.9 percent in mining. Since the spring, oil and gas extraction
and output of metal ores and coal have strengthened.
The operating rate for
utilities rose 0.3 percent in July.
The utilization rates for total manufacturing and its "durable and
nondurable subtotals all rose 0.5 percent in July with increases spread throughout. The largest increase occurred in primary metals where raw steel production
showed further strength. At 75.7 percent of capacity, the operating rate for
primary metals is at its highest level since September 1981; cutbacks in capacity
have been an important factor in shoring up this utilization rate, as output of
primary metals in July was still 15 percent below that in September 1981.
Producers of industrial materials operated at 80.3 percent of capacity
in July, up 0.5 percentage point from June and 2 percentage points from 12 months
earlier. Utilization rates for durable goods materials and energy materials are
still far below earlier cyclical highs; however, the rates for nondurable goods
materials are high.

Capacity Utilization: Summary
Percent of capacity, seasonally adjusted
Series

1973
High

1975
Low

1978

1982
Low

1987

A\TQ.

mah

1967
•86

APR

1

flAX

JUN

1

JUL

88.6

12. 1

86.9

69.5

81.5

79.5

79.9

80.1

80.5

Manufacturing
Durable
Nondurable

87.7
87-4
88.8

69.9
67.9
7U8

86.5
86.3
87.0

68.0
63.7
74.4

80.6
78*6
83,5

80.2
76.6
85.5

80.4

76.9
85.8

80.5
76*9
85.9

81.0
77.4
8b. 4

Mining
Utilities

92.8
95.6

87.8
82.9

95.2
88.5

76.9
78.0

87.1
87.5

74.2
78.4

74,6
80.8

75.4
80.8

76.3
81.1

92.0

70.5

89.1

68.4

82.3

79.2

79.3

79.8

80*3

Total Industry

Industrial Materials




CAPACITY UTILIZATION

JULY DATA

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED, PERCENT
110
TOTAL INDUSTRY
TOTAL MATERIALS
90

70

50
110

MINING
UTILITIES

90

MANUFACTURINGv \ ^ /

70

50
110
MANUFACTURING
ELECTRICAL
MACHINERY
90

NONDURABLE

70

V/

MOTOR VEHICLES
AND PARTS

30
1972

1975




1978

1981

1984

1987

1972

1975

1978

1981

1984

1987

MANUFACTURING, MINING AND UTILITIES
Table 1

Capacity Utilization
Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent of capacity
1973 l 1975 | 1978 1 1982 | 1967 1 1986 1
Series
H i g k | Lou | - 8 0 1 i.OM 1 - 8 6 1 JUL 1
1
1 Hisik 1
1 Ava. i
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Total Industry
88.6|
8 1 . 5 | 79.21
72.11 8 6 . 9 | 69.5}
t

Manufacturing
Primary processing
Advanced processing
Durable manufacturing
Stone, clay and glass products
Primary metals
Iron and steel, subtotal
Nonferrous metals, subtotal
Fabricated metal products
Nonelectrical machinery
Electrical machinery
Motor vehicles and parts
Automobiles
Aerospace and misc. trans, eqp.
Instruments
Other durables

87.71
1
91.9J
86.0|
I
87.4|
89-31
101.91
105.81
95.6|
85.0|
89.01
85.71
97.1|
1

77.01
89.21
87.71
•

Nondurable manufacturing
Food and kindred products
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products
Other nondurable*
Mining

88.81
85.81
92.11
95.6|
88.61
99.61
97.51
86.41
•
92.8|
95.61
98.71
1

1

1987
DEC \ JAN 1 FEB 1 fiAfi 1 APB I HAT \ JUB 1 JD1

79.3

7 9 . 6 | 79.4

79.7

79.6

79.5

79.9

60.1

80.5

86.5|
I
89.11
85.11

68.0)
•
65.11
69.5|

80.61

79.71

79.7

80.0] 7 9 . 9

80.3

80.3

80.2

80.4

80.5

81.0

81.81
80.01

82.91
78.41

84.4
77.7

8 4 . 9 | 64.8
77.91 77.8

84.7
78.3

84.8
78.1

85.3
77.9

85.4
78.3

85.5
78.3

86.4
78.7

67.91 8 6 . 3 |
6 7 . 1 | 86.61
67.0|
97.11
66.6| 100.31
62. 11 91.11
64.7j 87.41
68.21 86.01
63.7|
89.91
52.7|
93.31
1 93.31
69.61 87.1J
74.91 88.91
69.0|
81.0|
I
71.8J 8 7 . 0 |
77.6|
8b. 11
58.91 88.3)
67.71 92.71
69.21 82.91
83.71 9 1 . 7 |
59.5|
89.4|
72.3|
92.41

63.71
62.9|
45.81
37.61
60.81
61.31
62.91
66.9|
47.0|
36.61
70.71
77.81
69.11

78.61 76.31
78.01 81.71
79.61 67.21
7 8 . 5 | 60.71
81.21 77.21
78.0J 79.1J
78.11 71.41
78.0| 71.5|
78.01 8 0 . 0 |
1 76.11
77.01 87.11
83.21 80.51
81.81 8 3 . 0 |

76.5
81.8
70.5
64.3
80.0
80.1
70.0
71.5
77.2
74.1
89.3
79.1
85.7

76.71
82.4|
67.61
60.2|
78.81
80.91
69.21
72.21
79.5|
79.91
88.41
79.61
87.31

76.4
82.9
67.8
60.2
79.4
80.7
69.2
71.6
60.1
75.8
89.0
79.4
85.4

77.1
81.9
70.5
63.4
81.2
80.8
70.1
71.4
84.0
84.6
89.5
79.6
85.5

77.0
82.6
71.«
65.8
81.0
81.3
70.6
70.4
*2-2
81.2
89.6
78.6
85.5

76.6
82.5
71.4
66.0
79.6
81.1
71.2
69.8
77.8
73.9
69.4
79.6
85.2

76.9
81.3
72.2
67.0
79.9
80.5
71.6
70.4
78.2
73.2
S9.4
79.0
85.8

76.9
80.3
72.8
68.2
79.5
61.4
72.3
70.5
75.7
70.8
88.6
79.4
86.2

77.4

74.41
76.51
70.61
80.81
67.61
69.71
71.21
78.91

84.7
78.1
95.0
96.8
79.3
89.4
87.9
88.5

85.11
78.4|
95.41
98.11
80.51
89.41
88.5|
88.0|

85.2
78.2
94.9
96.5
82. 1
91.0
86.7
87.8

85.0
78.3
94.9
96.7
82.1
88.1
86.9

85.5
78.1
97.7
95.5
82.1
89.8
88.7
88.6

85.8
78.5
97.0
95.9
81.8
88.2
89.5
89.6

85.9
78.5

87.<
>

85.1
78.3
95.2
95.4
82.3
87.5
87.7
07.9

96.0
81.9
87.1
90.4
89.7

90.0

87.81

95.21

76.91

73.9

73.51 73.9

73.3

73.6

74.2

74.6

75.4

76.3

88.5|
87.6|
1

78.0|
78.2]

8 3 . 5 | 84.81
82.21 7 8 . 9 |
84.91 91.61
88.71 96.61
78.71 • 80.9J
87.81 89.01
84.71 8 7 . 4 |
8 6 . 1 | 87.91
•
87.11 73.51
I
I
87.51 7 9 . 9 |
8 8 . 4 | 84.31
1
1

80.5
83.4

80.01 79.1
62.21 80.7

7S.0
81.0

78.9
81.4

78.4
81.3

80.8
83.9

80.8
83.2

81.1
83.4

1
69.91
1
68.31
71.11

•

Utilities
Electric utilities

1986
NO?

82.91
83.01

75.7
81.5
73.0
70.4
76.4
69.4
88.9
79.7
86.3
86.4

87.4

Table 2

Output, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization
Quarterly, seasonally adjusted
OUTPUT
Series

Total Industry
Manufacturing
Primary processing
Advanced processing
Durable manufacturing
Stone, clay and glass products
Primary metals
Iron and steel, subtotal
Nonferrous metals, subtotal
Fabricated metal products
Nonelectrical machinery
Electrical machinery
Motor vehicles and parts
Automobiles
Aeospace and misc. trans, eqp.
Instruments
Other durables
Nondurable manufacturing
Food and kindred products
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products
Other nondurables
Mining
Utilities
Electric utilities

1986
U2

Q3

Q4

1987
Qi

1
124.4 125.0 126.01127.0
1
128.4 129.4 130.41131.8
1
111.1 112.1 114.01115.2
138.9 139.7 140.41141.6
1
127.1 127.7 128.61130.0
120.8 120.3 120.11122.3
74.8 73.7 74.81 75.8
61.4 61.2 62.51 62.8
100.0 97.2 98.1|100.3
107.1 106.3 107.91108.3
140.9 142.0 141.11142.1
165.3 166.9 168.71168.7
110.6 110.5 108.81115.2
112.2 106.2 107.91114.3
144.6 147.3 149.21150.5
140.9 141.8 141.31142.6
127.2 128.4 133.21133.5
1
130.2 131.8 132.91134.4
133.8 134.6 134.51135.7
111.6 114.7 117.41118.6
134.8 137.9 139.61139.8
132.8 134.1 133.6|137.6
93.0 92.6 91.91 92.7
149.7 155.3 159.1|159.5
131.8 132.5 135.41135.6
1
99.9
96.6 96.61 96.7
1
108.9 108.8 110.41109.5
122.2 123.5 124.11122.4

Q2

1
1

•

1
128.21
1
133.01
I
116.61
143.01
1
130.51
121.51
77.41
65.7J
99.41
106.51
146.51
168.11
108.71
103.01
151.1(
144. 11
135.11
1
136.6}
136.9}
123.21
140.81
138.21
92.71
166.01
139.31
1
97.61
1
111.41
125.91

CAPACITY
1986
0.2

i

1
1
157.1 157.9 158.81159.6 160.51
1
1
161.4 162.4 163.41164.4 165.51
I
1
134.0 134.6 135.2)135.9 136.51
177.9 179.1 180.41181.7 183.01
1
1
166.4 167.3 168.21169.1 170.01
145.9 146.6 147.51146.3 149.21
109.8 109.4 108.91108.2 107.21
102.2 101.5 100.7| 99.5 98.01
124.1 124.2 124.41124.6 124.71
133.6 133.7 133.81133.8 133.91
198.7 200.2 201.7|203.1 204.4|
232,2 233-7 235.2(237.1 239.41
138.6 139.2 139.7J140.2 140.71
143.1 142.7 142.21141.9 141.81
166.1 166.9 167.61168.5 169.51
174.9 176.6 178.31180.0 181.61
152.8 153.9 155.0)156.2 157.61
1
1
154.5 155.6 156.71158.0 159.31
169.4 170.7 172.01173.4 174.71
123.6 123.8 124.01124.6 126.3(
142.3 143.2 144.11145.3 147.01
165.2 166.0 166.91167.8 166.71
101.9 101.8 102.91104.3 104.91
176.5 178.7 160.91183.1 185.4|
150.9 152.1 153.41154.7 156.01
1
1
132.1 131.9 131.71131.3 130.71
1
136.9 137.5 138.11138.7 139.31
148.1 149.0 150.01151.0 152.11

Note. Data for output are percentages of 1977 output as shown in the Federal Reserve's seasonally adjusted indexes of industrial production. Capacity is also expressed as a percentage of




1
1987

Q3

UTILIZATION
1987
(24
0.1

1986
Q2

Q3

79.2

79.1

79.5

79.7

82.9
78.0

83.3
78.0

76.4
82.9
66.1
60.0
80.6
80.1
70.9
71.2
79.8
78.4
87,2
80.5
83.2

76.3
62.1
67.4
60.3
78.3
79.5
70.9
71.4
79.4
74.5
88.3
80.3
83.4

84.3
79.0
90.4
94.7
80.4
91.2
84.8
87. J

84.7
78.8
92.6
96.3
80.8
91.0
86.9
87.1

75.6

73.2

79.5
82.5

79.1
82.9

1
79.3| 79.6
1
79.81 80.2
84.31
77.81
1
76.51
81.41
68.71
62.11
78.91
80.71
69.9|
71.71
77.8|
75.91
89.0|
79.21
86.01
1
84.81
78.21
94.7|
96.91
80.11
89.3)
87.9|
88.3|
1
73.31
1
79.9|
82.71

Q2

79.8
80.4

84.8
78.1

85.4
78.2

76.9
82.5
70.1
63.1
80.5
80.9
70.0
71.1
82.1
80.5
89.3
79.2
85.4

76.8
81.4
72.2
67.1
79.7
81.0
71.7
70.2
77.2
72.6
89.1
79.3
85.7

85.1
78.3
95.0
96.2
82.1
88.9
87.1
87.8

85.7
78.4
95.8
81.9
88.4
89.5
89.3

73.6

74.7

79.0
81.1

80.0
82.8

1977 actual output. Capacity utilization percentages are calculated as ratios of production to
capacity.

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS
Table 3

Capacity Utilization
Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent of capacity
Series

1978 1 1982
-80 1 Lou

1975

High 1 Low

1
J
Industrial Materials
Durable goods materials
Metal materials
Raw steel
Aluminum
Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper, and chemical materials
Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials
Energy materials

92.01
I
1
91.81
I
99.21
1
106.01
95.71
91.
92.
98.
92.
94.

70.51
I
1
64.4|
J
67.11
I
66.41
73.0|
1
1
66.7|
1
64.81
1
70.61
64.41
1
J
86.91
I

i
89.11
1
1
89.81
1
93.61
J
98.91
97.4|
i
I
88.11
1
89.41
I
97.il
87.9J
I
I
94.01
I

"T96T
-86

JL
I
68.41
1
1
60.91
J
45.71
I
36.11
58.81
J
1
70.61
I
68.6J
I
79.9)
63.3|
I
I
82.21
1

1986 1
JOL 1_

1987
MOV 1 DEC I JAW I FEB 1 HAB I APB 1 HAI I JUM J J 0 1

I
82.31
I
1
79.11
I
77.81
I
80.3|
87.01
1
1
83.31
J
83.71
I
91.61
80.8|
1
I
89.31
I

78.31
I
I
73.71
«
63.81
1
63.51
61.41
I
I
85.01
I
85.61
1
97.91
80.21
1
1
82.31
1

78.4
74.2
68.4
59.7
65.2
85.7
86.7
96.0
81.7
81.2

78.9|
I
1
74.31
I
66.51
I
57.91
66.4}
I
I
87.61
I
89.21
I
100.21
84.31

78.8

78.7 7 8 . 7 79.2 79.3 7 9 . 8

80.3

74.0

74.6 7 4 . 7

7 4 . 874.4

74.9

75.7

65.9

67.3 6 8 . 0

68.5 68.8

70.0

73.7

61.4
70.1

61.3 6 5 . 2
7 0 . 5 72.5

68.670.4 7 3 . 3
7 4 . 274.5 78.7

87.5

86.8 86.8

8 8 . 588.1

88.3

88.5

89.3

88.1 88.1

89.989.3

89.4

89.8

98.3
84.9

9 7 . 1 95.4
83.7 83.7

9 5 . 8 96.4 96.5
8 5 . 285.2 8 4 . 5

I
81.31 81.3
I

80.3 79.8 80.3 82.0 82.8

83.1

Table 4
Output, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization
Quarterly, seasonally adjusted
Series

Industrial Materials
Durable goods materials
Metal materials
Raw steel
Aluminum
Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper and chemical materials
Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials
Energy materials

1986
Q2

Q3

Q4

1987
Ql

Q2

1
1
1

113.3 113.4 114.31115.2 116.61
1
1
i
1
118.8 118.8 120.11121.3 122.21
1
75.1 73.1 75.71 75.5 77.21
1
1
66.2 60.0 58.61 6 1 . 1 67.91
77.7 68.1 70.31 7 5 . 1 78.31
1
1
I
1
121.21122.8 125. 41
116.9 119.7
1
1
117.0 120.4 122.4J124.2 126.61
1
I
130. 1 135.1 136.01 136.4 136.81
115.4 117.7 120.11122.4 124.31
1
1
I
100.6 98.6 98.21 97.9 99.21
il
1

1986
Q2

Gi
Q3

Q4

1987
Q\

Q2

J
1
1

1986
«2

i 78.3
146.81
1
1
1
161.5 162.21163.0 163.61 73.9
1
I
114.0 113.41112.7 111.71 65.6
i
1
99.9 98.91 97.6 95.91 65.6
109.7 107.91105.7 103.21 69.7
J
1
I
1
139.9 140.41141.0 142.01 83.8
i
1
139.2 139.61140.4 141.4| 84.3
|
138.9 139.71140.8 142.21 94.2
144.7 145.01145.6 146.31 80.0
1
1
1
1
121.4 121.61121.6 121.51 82.9
1
1

Q3

DTI L1ZATXOI
1987
Q4
Ql

144.7 145.3 145.81146.3

78.1

160.7

73.6

7 8 . 4 | 78.7
1
1
74.01 74.4

64.2

66.71 67.0

69.1

60.0
62.1

5 9 . 2 | 62.6
65.21 71-1

70.8
75.8

85.6

1
86.4J 87.1

114.5
100.9
111.4
139.5
138.8
138.1
144.3
121.3

79.4
74.7

i

86.5

88.3

97.3
81.4

87.6J 88.5
1
97.31 96.9
82.81 84.1

96.2
85.0

81.2

1
8 0 . 7 | 80.5

81.7

89.5

Explanatory Notes
Definition. This release contains estimates of output, capacity, and capacity utilization for the
nation's factories, mines, and electric and gas utilities. Output data are the Federal Reserve's
seasonally adjusted indexes of industrial production, which express output as percentages of
1977 output. The capacity estimates are expressed as percentages of 1977 output as well.
Capacity utilization percentages are calculated as ratios of production to capacity. The capacity indexes are based on a variety of data, including capacity data in physical units compiled
by trade associations, private and government surveys of capacity growth and utilization rates,
and estimates of capital stock growth. The concept of practical capacity is applied, which is
defined as the greatest level of output that a plant can maintain within the framework of a realistic
work pattern, taking account of normal downtime, and assuming sufficient availability of inputs
to operate machinery and equipment in place. When the capacity indexes for individual industries are aggregated—for example to total manufacturing—no explicit account is taken of possible general equilibrium constraints such as emerging industry bottlenecks. Because of the
large and heterogeneous database, changes in utilization rates may be more meaningful in the
analysis of business conditions than any particular level of these rates.
Groupings. Estimates of capacity and industrial production for manufacturing industries are
aggregated to primary processing and advanced processing industries, to durable and nondurable
manufacturing industries, and to total manufacturing. The mining, manufacturing, and utilities
estimates aggregate to the total index. Primary processing includes textile mill products, paper
and products, industrial chemicals, petroleum products, rubber and plastics products, lumber
and products, primary metals, fabricated metal products, and stone, clay, and glass products.
Advanced processing includes foods, tobacco products, apparel products, printing and publishing, chemical products such as drugs and toiletries, leather and products, furniture and fixtures,
machinery, transportation equipment, instruments, miscellaneous manufactures, and
government-owned-and-operated ordnance facilities. Industrial materials are items produced and
.used as inputs by manufacturing plants, mines, and utilities. Industrial materials include many
of the items included in the primary processing grouping of manufacturing, as well as some
of the output of the advanced processing industries, mines, and utilities—such as Iron ore, crude
oil, semiconductors, and electricity sold to industry.




Perspective. The historical highs and lows in capacity utilization shown in the tables above are
specific to each series and did not all occur in the same month. Industrial plants usually operate at capacity utilization rates that are well below 100 percent: none of the broad aggregates
has ever reached 100 percent. For mining, manufacturing, and utilities as a whole, and for total
manufacturing, utilization rates as high as 90 percent have been exceeded only in wartime.
Revisions. The first estimates for a month are published about the 17th of the following month.
These estimates may revise in each of the next three months as new data become available.
After the fourth month no further revisions are undertaken until an annual or benchmark revision. The median of the revisions in the total manufacturing utilization rate between the first
and fourth estimate is 0.3 of a percentage point; that is, in about half of the cases, the absolute
value of the revision from the first to the fourth estimate is less than 0.3 of a percentage point.
Sources. The basic methodology used to estimate the series is discussed in Richard D. Raddock, "Revised Federal Reserve Rates of Capacity Utilization," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Vol.
71 (October 1985), pp. 754-66. Revised data for 1984-85 as we!! as historical utilization rates
since 1967 (1948 in the case of manufacturing) are included in the statistical supplement to the
September 1986 capacity utilization release. Copies may be obtained from Publications Services, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C. 20551
Rounding. Utilization rates are calculated from unrounded capacity and production indexes.
Aggregates are derived from unrounded detailed components.
Release schedule for 1987. Approximately 11 a.m. on January 20, February 17, March 16,
April 16, May 18, June 17, July 16, August 17, September 16, October 19, November 16, and
December 16.