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FEDERAL

RESERVE

statistical

release

For Immediate release
January 17, 1979

G.3

CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
December 1978

Capacity utilization in manufacturing increased by 0.2 percentage
point in December to 85.9 per cent. The utilization rate for manufacturing
has risen each month since January of last year and in December was 2.9
percentage points above the rate a year earlier. The December 1978 utilization
rate for manufacturing is the highest since June 1974 and is 2.1 percentage
points below the 1973 high.
Industrial materials capacity utilization rose in December by an
estimated 0.2 percentage point to 87.6 per cent—a level 5.7 percentage
points higher than a year earlier and 5.5 percentage points below the 1973
high. Capacity utilization by producers of durable goods materials, such
as metal materials, continued to rise rapidly in December. During 1978 the
operating rate for durable goods materials has risen by 7.5 percentage points
to 87.6 per cent; this sharp rise reflected, in large part, the rapid growth
in output of equipment and the high level of automobile production.
Manufacturing capacity utilization in the fourth quarter, at 85.7
per cent, was 0.7 percentage point above the third quarter rate, and materials
capacity utilization at 87.3 per cent, was 1.3 percentage points above the
third quarter rate.

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

MANUFACTURING
PER CENT

100
TOTAL

80

TOTAL

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

60
100

I

NONDURABLE GOODS

PRIMARY PROCESSING

80
ADVANCED PROCESSING
DURABLE GOODS

I

I

I

1967

I

I

1970




I

I

I

1973

I

I

I

1976

I

60
1979

1970

I

I
1973

I

I
1976

1979

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

Manufacturing
MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
SERIES

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

PRIMARY

PROCESSING

ADVANCED PROCESSING

19731
HIGHl
1
88.0)
1
1
93.6|
1
85.4|
I

LOW
69.6

JULY

AUG.

SEP.

OCT,

NOV.

DEC.

84.3

84.7

85.0

85.3

65.5

85.7

85.9

MAY

APR.
83.7

68.1

83.8

83.6

84.1

85.7

86.2

87.1

87.3

87.7

88.3

88.5

68.5

80.5

80.8

82.0

82.7

82.5

82.8

83.4

83.5

83.6

83.8

64.2

84.5|
1
82.21
1
OUTPUT

I

IV

11

II
I

139.8

139.9

MAR.
82.7

JUNE

83.9

FEB.
81.9

70.4

1978

1977

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

19771 1978
DEC.I JAN.
1
83.0|
81.7
1
|

1975

144.4

147.7

PRIMARY PROCESSING

148.2

148.2

154.1

158.2

ADVANCED PROCESSING

135.6

135.4

139.3

142.1

I
I
1977
IVI
IV
1
150.31 168.7
1
1
161.01 175.1
1
144.71 165.3
|

CAPACITY
1978

11

II
I

172.0

173.7

176.8

178.5

180.2

166.9

168.5

170.2

1
170.3

1
1
IV 1
1
175.41
1
1
181.9|
1
171.81
1

*8.6
64.5

UTILIZATION
1977

1976

I

IV
82.9

82.1

1
1

II
I

84. O

85.0

IV
85.7

84.6

63.8

86.3

87.6

88.5

82.0

81.1

82.7

63.5

64.2

._ULJ^

Industrial Materials
MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
SERIES

M A T E R I A L S , TOTAL

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
B A S I C METAL M A T E R I A L S

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
T E X . , PAPER, C CHEM. M A T .
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

1973|
HIGHl
|
93.1|
1
I
92.5J
1
97.71
1
|
94.6|
94.5J
1
94.4|
100.51
93.81
I
|
94.fc|

1975

LOW
69.7

64.3
66.1

67. 8
65.5
58.0
71.8
64.7

82.7

J

1977|
DEC.I
1
81.9|
1
|
80.11
1
75.71
1
1
85.81

1978

84,01
1
82.01
85.2|
84.3|
1
1
81.4|

84.5
80.1

60.7

IV
MATERIALS,

TOTAL

138.9
•

I

82.1

82.8

84.5

85.3

66.1

86.8

67.1

87.6

80.4

80.6

63.1

65.6

66.4

87.2

87.9

88.6

88.7

87.5

87.2

67.6

68.0

88.3

66.2

86.9

37.0

86.5

85.5

86.7

66.6

66.6

66.4

80.2

81.9

75.7

86.9

87.7

88.2

85.3

86.5

86.5

85.3

80.1

81.0

81.7

81.0

81.1

81.8

81.7

88.1

89.0

89.5

90.2

90.5

90.2

86.9

64.4

6b.2

87.7

87.5

84.6

b5.7

87.4

87.2

87.7

87.8

87.8

o7.2

67.6

87.7

87.9

83.1

80.0

79.7

84.0

84.7

86.1

b6.3

85.6

64.8

66.1

8o.4

11

111

139.2

145.1

148*7

I
I
1977
IVI
IV
1
152.11 168.9
1

1

11

171.7

173.0

174.2

82.2

81.7

84.5

86.0

87.3

172.8

174.0

175.2

176.3

177.4

79.7

79.3

82.2

65.3

b7.2

145.8

75.2

75.8

60.4

85.1

158.0

163.2

163.2

159.5

163.1

167.7

168.4

117.9
132.3
188.9

115.3
136.5
194.9

117.1
139.7
201.4

117.3
134.8
204.4

I 143.0
I 152.5
I 223.6

121.9

119.1

125.5

127.0

128.6J
1

1978

170.4

155. Q

154.71

1977

IV

I 145.5
1
I
166.21 180.4
1
171.11 188.9

150.4

1978

145.7

1

86.6

UTILIZATION
111

117.5

124.6

CAPACITY

11

144.0

NUTE:

81.6
80.0

79.4

76.1

137.9

ENERGY M A T E R I A L S

87.6

78.7

110.5

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

87.4

79.6

137.7

MAT.

DEC.

67. O

75.7

109.4

GOODS MATERIALS

NOV.

86.3

84.0

BASIC METAL MATERIALS

T E X . , P A P E R , £ CHEM.

StP f

85.9

MAY

APR.

81.9

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

NONDURABLE

AUG.

85.7

MAR.

81.3

1978

•

JULY

65.1

FEB.

81.9

OUTPUT
1977

JUNt

84.5

JAN.

146.1

IV

146.5

1 1
1

IV

182.3

184.4

186.5

166.5

85.9

66.7

66.5

67.5

88.2

190.8

193.1

195.4

197.5

84.5

85.5

66.6

86.2

66.6

143.5
153.6
226.6

144.1
154.8
230.1

144.7
155.8
233.5

82.4

80.3

81.2

81.0

86.7

88.9

90,3

66.5

84.5

86.0

87.5

87.5

147.2

148.9
148.4
147.8
_ . . . _ _ .

83.7

80.9

64.9

85.6

66.4

1

E S T I M A T E S UF A C T U A L OUTPUT ANL C A P A C I T Y CUTPUT ARE 6LFH EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGES OF 1967 ACTUAL OUTPUT.
E S T I M A T E S UF
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 D AS R A T I O S OF < i ) THE FEDERAL R E S E R V E ' S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUST R I A L PRODUCTION TO ( 2 1 THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF C A P A C I T Y .
INDUSTRIAL M A T E R I A L S ARE ITEMS BOTH PRODUCED AND USED AS INPUTS BY MANUFACTURING P L A N T S , MINES AND UI1L1UES; INDUSTRIAL M A T E R I A L S COVER MANY OF THt ITEMS REPRESENTED IN THE PRIMARY
PROCESSING GROUPING OF MANUFACTURING AS WELL AS SOME OF THt OUTPUT OF MINES AND U T I L I T I E S — SUCH AS IRON ORk, CRUDE OIL, AND
E L E C T R I C I T Y SOLD T O INDUSTRY.
THE 1973 HIGHS AND 1975 LOWS IN C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N , SHOWN IN THE T A B L E S A B O V E , ARE SPECIFIC TO EACH SERIES AND MAY OCCUR IN
D I F F E R E N T MONTHS.
I N D U S T R I A L P L A N T S USUALLY O P E R A T E AT C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N R A T E S T H A T ARE W E L L BELOW 10O PERCENT; NONE OF
THE BROAU A G G R t G A t t S E R I E S HAS LVcR INDICATED A 100 PtRCENT USE OF C A P A C I T Y . C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N R A T E S AVERAGED ABOUT b3
PERCENT FOR MANUFACTURING FRO! 1955 THROUGH 1977, AND ABOUT 85 PERCENT FOR INDUSTRIAL M A T E R I A L S FOR 1967 THROUGH 1977.
IN
MANUFACTURING AS A W H O L E , U T I L I Z A T I O N R A T f c S AS HIGH AS 9U PERCENT HAVE bEEN EXCEEDLU ONLY IN W A R T I M E . THE PtAK R A T E S OF UTIL I Z A T I O N IN 1973 W E R E A S S O C I A U ' J W I T H S I G N I F I C A N T UPWARD PRESSUKh ON P R I C E S .
THE C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N E S l l K A f E S ARE D t S C R l r t E O , AND H I S T O R I C A L D A T A AfcE PROVIDED, IN EtfifcSAL BJlit&iLt MEASURES b£ C A P A C I T Y
Attfi CAPACITY UI1LJ4AI1&ISI*
THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM PUBLICATION S E R V I C E S , BOARD UF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RES E R V E S Y S T E M , W A S H I N G T O N , D.C. 2 0 5 . 5 1 .
THE P R I C E IS $ 1 . 7 5 PER C O P Y ; FOR FEN OR MOkt, $1.50 E A C H .