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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
■*$ff8S^'

G.3 (402)

For Immediate release

CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Industrial Materials

August 18, 1986

Capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and utilities
decreased 0.2 percentage point in July to 78.2 percent; declines of similar
magnitude occurred in each of these three sectors. Over the past six
months, the overall rate has fallen 2.6 percentage points. Since the rate
for total industry reached 82 percent in July-August 1984, capacity
utilization has fallen 3-1/4 percentage points in manufacturing; about 12
percentage points in mining (primarily oil well drilling); and nearly 2
percentage points for utilities.
The 0.2 percentage point drop in manufacturing capacity utilization
in July reflected a drop of 3.4 percentage points in the rate at auto assembly
plants and significant declines for instruments, petroleum products, and
rubber and plastics products. Smaller declines were reported in most other
industries. In the primary metals and electrical machinery industries,
increases in utilization reflected the return to work of workers who had been
on strike in June.
Producers of industrial materials operated at 77.9 percent of
capacity in July, the same as in June. The rate for producers of
durable goods materials eased 0.2 percentage point while the rates for
nondurable goods materials and energy materials rose by 0.1 and 0.3
percentage point respectively.

In next month's 'statistical release, revised estimates of
industrial capacity utilization rates will be issued for the period since
January 1984. This revision will incorporate revised Industrial production
and capacity indexes.

Capacity Utilization: S u m m a r y
Percent of capacity, seasonally adjusted
1

Series

1973
High

1975
Lom

-80
Hxaa

mi

1967 ™

Low

-85
Ava.

1986
API

|N A I

UOI

UOi.

88.6

72.1

86.9

69.5

81.7

79.4

78.8

78.4

78.2

Manufacturing
Durable
Nondurable

87.7
87.*
88.8

69.9
67.9
71.8

86.5
86.3
87.0

t>8.0
63.7
74.4

80.6
78.8
83.5

79.6
76.6
84.2

79.3
75.8
84.5

78.7
75.1
84.2

78.5
74.9
84.0

Mining
Utilities

92.8
95.6

87.8
82.9

95.2
88.5

76.9
78.0

87.7
87.9

75.6
82.0

74.3
81.1

74.1
81.2

73.8
81.0

92.0

70.5

89.1

68.4

82.5

78.6

78.0

77.9

77.9

Total Industry

Industrial Materials



CAPACITY UTILIZATION

JULY DATA

SEASONALLY AOJUSTED, PERCENT

110
TOTAL INDUSTRY
TOTAL MATERIALS

90

70

J_L

50
110
MINING

UTILITIES

90

\/

MANUFACTURING ^

70

50
110
MANUFACTURING
ELECTRICAL
MACHINERY

90 h -

NONDURABLE

70

50
110

H

90

70

50

30

1971

1974




1977

1980

1983

1986

I I I I I I I I I II
1971

1974

1977

1980

1983

1986

MANUFACTURING, MINING AND UTILITIES
Table 1

Capacity Utilization
Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent o capacity
1973 | 1975 | 1978 1 1982 1 19b7 1 1985 1
Series
High | Low 1 - 8 0
1 Lotf
1 JUL 1_
| -85
L_
L_ High 1
L
_
1
1
J
1
1
88.6|
80.2|
69.51
Total Industry
72.1|
86.91
81.71
1
1
1 8 0 . 6 |1 8 0 . 1 1
69.91
87.7|
Manufacturing
8o.5l
68.01
i
68.31
91.9|
89.11
65.1|
81.71 82.31
Primary processing
71.1|
86.01
85.11
69.5|
80.21 79.11
Advanced processing
1
1
8o.il
78.81
67.91
63.71
78.01
87.4J
Durable manufacturing
67.11
86.61
62.91
77.71 80.61
89.31
Stone, clay and glass products
45.81
80.21 7 1 . 5 |
101.91 67.01
97.11
Primary metals
79.41 66.11
105.81 66.61 100.31 37.61
Iron and steel, subtotal
60.81
81.31
95.6|
62.11
91.11
80.21
Nonferrous metals, subtotal
64.71
87.41
77.91 8 0 . 5 |
61.31
85.0|
Fabricated metal products
86.01
62.91
78.51 75.21
89.01 68.21
Nonelectrical machinery
63.7|
89.91
66.9|
78.31 71.91
85.71
Electrical machinery
97.1|
52.71
93.31
47.01
78.01 83.61
Motor vehicles and parts
36.6|
76.71 82.21
43.71
93.31
91.8|
Automobiles
70.71
76.61
85.01
69.61
87.1J
77.01
Aerospace and misc. trans, eqp.
74.91
88.91
77.81
83.41
83.41
89.2]
Instruments
81.81 8 3 . 2 |
87.7|
69.01
81.01
69.11
Other durables
1
1
83.51 83.3)
87.01
71.8J
Nondurable manufacturing
74.41
88.81
76.51
82.41 80.21
85.11
1 85.81 77.61
Food and kindred products
70.61
84.51 84.71
58.91
88.31
92.1|
Textile mill products
67.71
80.81
88.41 92.41
92.71
95.61
Paper and products
78.7|
78.01
82.91
69.21
67.61
88.61
Chemicals and products
69.71
87.71
86.71
83.71
91.71
99.61
Petroleum products
71.2|
84.61
86.0|
59.5|
89.4|
97.51
Rubber and plastics products
92.41
78.91
86.11 86.81
86.41
72.31
Other nondurables
1
1
1
1
87.81
87.71 81.21
76.91
Mining
92.81
95.21
1
i
1
78.01
87.91 81.91
95.61
82.91
Utilities
88.51
88.71 8 1 . 0 |
78.21
87.61
83.01
98.71
Electric utilities
|
l_
L
L
L
L

1985
1986 „
Mpy i DEC I " JAM 1
1
80.7| 80.8
80.3
1
80.41 80.7
80.2
1
83.3| 84.8
83.0
79.0
79.0| 78.8
1
77.9
78.11 78.2
79.9
81.91 83.1
76.0
7 4 . 3 | 77.3
72.9
6 9 . 9 | 73.4
80.9 81.31 83.6
80.9
81.51 81.9
73.0
72.9| 72.8
72.0
73.0) 71.1
83.5 8 3 . 9 | 85.3
75.8
79.4| 82.2
87-21 88.1
87.6
82.0
81.6| 81.6
83.21 83.8
83.2

"lisT"HAH
79.9

79.0

79-4

78.8

78.4

79.1

79.6

79.3

78.7

82.9
77.<J

83.2
78.0

83.3
77.6

82.6*'82.6
76.9 76.7

77.3
82.0
73.7
68.2
82.4
81.9
71.8
69.8
85.0
85.1
86.8
81.7
83.2

76.3
82.6
70.8
63.5
82.3
81.2
70.9
69.7
79.4
75.7
87.2
d1.9
83.1

76.6
83.5
71.6
64.4
82.8
80.5
70.2
70.0
82.1
80.4
88.5
81.6
83.4

75.8
82.7
69.5
60.8
83.2
80.3
69.8
69.5
78.9
75.3
88.1
80.7
83.5

79.7
82.3
80.8

83.9|
79.3|
86.31
93.91
78.5|
88.11
86.81
88.31
1
80.01
1
85.31
84.41

75.1 74.9
Q3.3
66.7
67.6
58.5
79.5
8 0 . 1 7 9.7
68.8
68.5
67.9
68.5
80.1 79.3
79.5. 76.1
88.CI . 8 7 . 5
80.6
79.3
82.6
82.2

84.4
79.4
87.1
94.3
79.6
92.1
86.7
88.1

83.8
79.6
89.5
93.4
79.7
88.0
86.4
ttb.O

83.5
78.9
87.9
93.2
79.7
87.5
85.1
86.5

84.2
79.3
89.3
93.4
80.2
91.0
84.0
88.1

84.2
84.5
79.7
79.0
Q2
89.8
Ik. 4
93.4
80.0
79.7
94.4 91-5
84.8
84.8
88.0
87.9

84.0

80.0

78.4

76.4

75.6

74.3

74.1

73.8

81.1
81.5

81.2
81.6

*-*

78.5

83.9
78.1

'"

78.2

79.8

81.0
81.5

•

83.6
78.8
87.7
91.2
78.4
86.5
87.4
88.6

i "AP£"T "flAI 1 " J O T T " j U l

83.8
81.2

82.1
80.1

82.0
82.3

81.8
80.9

4 '

90.8
87.7

1

Table 2

Output, Capacity, and Capacity Utilization
Quarterly, seasonally adjusted
O0TP0T
Series
Total Industry
Manufacturing
Primary processing
Advanced processing

1985
02

03

124.2 124.8
126.6 127.6
108.1 109.5
137.9 138.6

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

127.9
115.6
78.7
68.3
98.3
108.3
147.9
169.2
110.6
112.5
135.4
139.7
122.7

128.5
115.8
80.4
70.0
100.2
107.5
147.7
165.6
115.0
114.6
140.0
140.8
123.9

Nondurable manufacturing
Food and kindred products
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products
Other nondurables

124.9
131.3
100.8
125.4
126.3
87.2
144.9
127.6

126.4
132.4
105.7
128.4
127.9
87.5
147.4
128.2

Mining
Utilities
Electric utilities

110.0 108.5
113.6 111.4
119.3 118.3

04

1986
01

.02

1
1 1985
L._Q2
1

125.41125.6 124.7|
I
1 2 8 . 2 1 1 2 8 . 9 128.61

1

110.41111.7
139.01139.1
1
128.91129.1
116.31119.7
82.81 81.0
73.91 7 0 . 1
99.5H01.7
108.41109.1
144.91144.6
168.61166.3
113.91 115.4
109.2H16.3
142.41143.1
140.41141.8
124.71125.7
1
127.21128.6
131.51133.3
106.41108.7
129.31132.4
128.11130.8
87.91 89.6
149.71150.9
130.91129.9
1
107.61105.1
1
113.71113.1
120.81119.4

i

110.91
139.31

1
127.4)
121.2|
75.41
62.11
100.51
107.31
141.21
165.11
112.81
112.31
145.61
141.81
126.31
1
1 3 0 . 11
134.51
110.71
133.21
131.91
92.51
149.31
132.71

1
100.31
1
111.81
121.71

1986
Q1

4
1

04
M
1
1
154.0 155.1 156.21157.2 158.11
1
1
157.7 158.9 1 6 0 . 2 ( 1 6 1 . 3
162.4|
I
1
132.0 132.4 132.81133.2
179.71
173.2 174.9 176.7J178.3 133.61
I
1
1 6 3 . 1 1t»4.5 1 6 5 . 8 1 1 6 7 . 0 1 6 8 . 1 1
1 4 2 . 3 1 4 3 . 2 144. 1 1 1 4 4 . 9 1 4 5 . 8 1
110.8 110.4 1 1 0 . 0 ) 1 0 9 . 5 108.91
104.3 103.8 103.31102.5 101.51
122.9 122.9 122.81122.8 122.9)
133.2 133.3 133.41133.5 133.61
194.3 196.9 199.41201.4 202.81
228.5 231.5 234.51236.9 238.81
133.9 135.4 137.01138.6 1 4 0 . 3 |
139.2 141.0 142.91143.6 143.11
162.8 162.9 163.11163.8 165.01
1 6 7 . 9 1 6 9 . 8 171.7J 1 7 3 . 5 1 7 5 . 2 1
147.4 148.5 149.71150.8 151.81
1
1
150.2 151.2 152.31153.3 154.4(
164.0 165.3 1 6 6 . 7 ( 1 6 8 . 1 169.51
122.7 122.9 123.21123.3 123.41
139.1 139.9 1 4 0 . 6 | 1 4 1 . 4 142.11
161.5 162.4 1 6 3 . 3 1 1 6 4 . 2 165.01
102.3 101.6 100.91100.5 100.21
167.9 170.0 172.11174.4 176.71
145.8 147.0 1 4 8 . 3 | 1 4 9 . 6 150.91

1

M

i_

133.6 133.9 134.11134.3 134.31
1
1
134.5 135.4 136.31136.9 137.31
1 4 4 . 2 1 4 5 . 5 1 4 6 . 9 1 1 4 8 . 0 148.7J

Nets. Data for output are percentage* of 1977 output ae shown in the Federal Reserve's seasonally adjusted Indexes of Industrial production. Capacity is also expressed as a percentage of




CAPACITY

80.3

DTILIZATIOM
1986
_Q2
Q4
.01
1
78.9
80.5
80.31 79.9
I
80.01 79.9 79.2
80.3

81.9
79.6

82.7
79.2

1985
_Q3
02
80.7

78.5
81.2
71.0
65.5
80.0
81.3
76.1
74.1
82.7
80.8
83.2
83.2
83.3

78.1
80.9
72.9
67.4
81.5
80.7
75.0
71.5
84.9
81.2
85.9
82.9
83.4

83.1
80.1
82.1
90.2
78.2
85.2
86.3
87.6

83.6
80.1
86.0
91.8
78.7
86.0
86.7
87.2

82.3

81.0

84.4
82.8

82.3
81.3

83.11 83.8
78.71 78.0

1

83.0
77.5

77.3
82.6
73.9
68.3
82.8
81.7
71.8
70.2
83.2
81.0
87.4
81.7
83.4

75.8
83.2
69.3
61.2
81.8
80.3
69.6
69.1
80.4
78.4
88.2
81.0
83.2

83.9
79.3
88.2
93.6
79.7
89.2
86.1
86.9

84.3
79.3
89.8
93.7
80.0
92.3
84.5
88.0

80.21 78.3
1
83.4) 82.6
82.21 80.7

74.7

77.7|
80.7)
75.21
71.61
81.0(
81.21
72.6(
71.91
83.11
76.41
87.31
81.8|
83.31
1
83.6)
78.9|
86.41
91.91
78.41
87.1)
87.0)
88.3)

81.4
81.8

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
Series

Industrial Materials

r

Metal materials

92.0|
1
1
91.81
1

Raw steel
Aluminum

99.21
I

Durable goods materials

1975 | 1975 i I9d2
l -80
1 Low
U±*kjL
1
70.51
68.4
89.11
I
1
I
1
60.9
89.81
64.41
I
1
67.11
93.6|
45.7
I
I
36.1
98.91
66.41
97.41
58.8
73.01
I
1
1
1
70.6
66.7|
88.11
1
1
68.6
6 4 . 8J
89.41

High i Low
1

106.0)
95.71
1
1
Textile, paper, and chemical materials] 9 1 . 1 1
1
Pulp and paper materials
92.8|
Chemical materials
1
98.41
92.51
Energy materials
1
1
94.61

Nondurable goods materials

70.61
64.41
1

I
97.3|
87.91
I

I
86.9|

-85
82.5

79.4
78.4
81.1
88.0
83.2
83.6
91.3
80.8

L

L

1996

MOT 1 PEC 1 JAM 1 FEB

1
94.01

79.9
63.3

1985 |
JUL
| . 19fl»
79.2

79.51
I
I

75.8

75.81
I
66.4|
I
67.2|
71.0)
I
I
81.7|
I
82.71
I
91.7|
80.11
I
I
85.81

70.8
66.4
66.0
81.5
82.1
90.1
78.8
84.7

80.11 80.2
I
7 5 . 81
I
70.71
I
61.81
65.7|
I
1
82.7|
I
83.51
I
94.7|
80.11
I
I
87.4)

76.4

1 flifl 1 APtt 1 MAE 1 JUM |

JUL

79.6

78.5

78.6

78.0

77.9

77.9

75.2

74.2

74.2

73.2

72.8

72.6
64.2

71.3

68.4

66.4

66.8

65.5

64.3

71.9
66.0

69.8
67.4

65.8
68.4

69.1
69.5

64.9
69.3

63.3
60.2

83.5

83.7

82.4

83.5

83.3

83.7

83.8

84.3

84.6

83.4

84.3

64.1

84.4

84.8

94.8
81.1

93.7
80.9

92.9
79.9

94.0
80.4

93.1
80.4

95.1
80.1

85.9

85.7

84.7

84.1

83.9

84.2

84.5

L

L

Table 4

Output, Capacity, a g i Capacity Utilization
Quarterly, seasonally adjusted
00TP0T
Series

Industrial Materials
Durable goods materials

1985
Q2

Metal materials

80.2

79.4

Raw steel
Aluminum

71.2
86.4

70.7
83.5

Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper and chemical materials
Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials
Energy materials

1
1986
Q1

1
J
1
1 1 4 . 5 1 1 4 . 2 114.8J 1 1 5 . 2 1 1 3 . 8 1
1
1
1
1
1 2 1 . 4 120.7 1 2 1 . 4 1 1 2 1 . o 119. 11
Q3

111.2 113.7
111.0 114.1
121.8 123.8
112.6 114.6

Q4

1
82.4| 80.2
1
68.31 71.9
78.81 7 9 . 1
1
1
113.81115.7
1
114.01116.2
1
124.51128.3
114.21115.7

1
1

105.2 103.2 104.21103.6
1

Q2

1

75.7|
1
67.11
77.51
1
1
116.41
I
116.61
1
129.31
115.41
1
1
102.11

157.4 158.9 1 6 0 . 5 { 1 6 1 . 6
1
117.3 117.3 1 1 7 . 3 | 1 1 6 . 7
1
104.9 104.8 104.81103.8
118.6 118.3 118.11117.6

1
137.8 138.2 138.71139.1

1

137.4 137.81138.1
1
136.2 136.3 136.51136.8
142.0 142.6 143.11143.5
1
137.0

120.3

L.

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 capac­
ity 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 Indus­
tries are aggregated—for example to total manufacturing—no explicit account Is taken of pos­
sible 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.
. 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 publish­
ing, chemical products such as drugs and toiletries, leather and products, furniture and fixtures,
machinery, transportation equipment, Instruments, miscellaneous manufactures, and
govemment-<>wrted-and^permted 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.




162.^1

77.1

tJflLIZATIOI
1986
U3
Q4
Ql
1
79.6
79.51 79.4
1
1
7b.U
7 5 . 6 | 75.3

115.61
1
102.01
116.71
1
1
139.41
1
138.41
J
137.41
143.71
1

68.4

67.7

67.9
72.9

67.4
70.6

70.31 68.7
1
65.21 69.2
66.71 67.3
1

80.7

82.2

82.0)

83.2

83.5

81.0

83.0

84.3

89.4
79.3

90.8
80.4

82.71 84.1
1
91.21 93.8
79.81 80.6
1

94.1
80.3

87.5

85.5

86.11 85.4

84.0

CAPACITY

1
1
1986
Q2
1
Q3
Q4
Q1
1
1
142.5 143.4 144.31145.0 145.51
1
1

1985
Q2

1

120.6 1 2 0 . 9 | 1 2 1 . 2

1

121.51

L.

1985
Q2
80.4

Q2
78.2
73.4
65.5
65.8
66.4

1

1

L

i. The historical high* and lows in capacity utilization shown in the table* above are
specific to each series and did not all occur in the same month. Industrial plants usually oper­
ate 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 aa a whole, and for total
manufacturing, utilization rates as high as 90 percent have been exceeded only in wartime.
L 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 revi­
sion. 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.
i. The basic methodology used to estimate the series is discussed In "Revised Federal
Reserve Rates of Capacity Utilization", Fedwal Reserve Bulletin, October 1985. Revised data
from 1948-84 are included in the statistical supplement to the July 1985 capacity utilization
release, which 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. Ag­
gregates are derived from unrounded detailed components.
i for 1986, Approximately 11 a.m. on January 17, February 18, March 17,
April 16, May 16, June 16, July 16, August 18, September 17, October 17, November 17, and
December 17.