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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
G.3 (402)

For Immediate release

CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Industrial Materials

July 16, 1986

Capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and utilities declined
0.6 percentage point in June to 78,3 percent. About one-third of the June decrease was related to strikes in the aluminum, lumber, and communication equipment industries. The sharpest operating rate declines last month were in durable
manufacturing and mining while the rates for nondurable manufacturing and utilities changed little. Since January, the utilization rate for all industry has
fallen 2-1/2 percentage points to a level 3.4 percentage points below the average
rate for 1967-1985; the drop in operating rates so far this year has been concentrated in durable goods manufacturing and mining.
In durable manufacturing, declines were widespread in June with the exception of a rebound in auto assemblies. The utilization rate in the primary metals
industry dropped 4.1 percentage points to 66.5 percent owing to the continued
weakness in the steel industry and also because of a strike-related reduction in
aluminum production.
The further easing of utilization in the machinery industries
occurred in part because of a strike that curtailed the output of communication
equipment.
Utilization in nondurable manufacturing was 83.8 percent of capacity,
about the same as in most recent months. The petroleum refining, paper, and
textile industries have operated recently at relatively high rates.
Utilization in mining dropped 1.1 percentage points further in June to
7 3.6 percent, 14 percentage points below its 1967-85 average. Not only has oil
and gas well drilling declined extraordinarily this year, but coal and metal
mining have been weak as well.
Producers of industrial materials operated at 77.9 percent of capacity
in June, down 0.4 percentage point from the month before. The rates for durable
goods materials and energy materials declined 0.5 percentage point while the rate
for nondurable goods materials eased slightly.

Capacity Utilization: Summary
Percent of capacity, seasonally adjusted
Series

1973
Hiyh

1975
Low

1978
•80

1982
LOW

1967
-85
Avg.

1986
HAB

|

APR

| HA I

| JUN

88.6

72.1

86.9

69.5

81.7

79.0

79.4

78.9

78.3

Manufacturing
Durable
Nondurable

87.7
87.4
88.8

69.9
b7.9
71.8

bo.5
86.3
87.0

68.0
63.7
74.4

80.6
78.8
83.5

79.1
76.3
83.5

79.5
76.6
84.0

79.2
76.1
84.0

78.6
75.3
83.8

Mining
Utilities

92.8
95.6

B7.8
8^.9

95.2

7b. 9
78.0

87.7
87.9

76.4
81.8

76.0
82.2

74.7
81.3

73.6
81.4

92.0

70.5

89.1

b8.4

82.5

78.5

78.7

78.3

77.9

Total Industry

Industrial Materials



CAPACITY UTILIZATION

JUNE DATA

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED. PERCENT

110
TOTAL INDUSTRY
TOTAL MATERIALS
90

70

50
110

MINING
UTILITIES

90

\/

MANUFACTURING

70

50
110
MANUFACTURING
ELECTRICAL
MACHINERY
90

NONDURABLE

70

50
110
MOTOR VEHICLES
AND PARTS
90

70

50

30
1971

1974




1977

1980

1983

1986

1971

1974

1977

1980

1983

1986

MANUFACTURING, MINING AND UTILITIES
Table 1

Capacity Utilization
Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent of capacity
1973 J 1975 I 1976 1 1932 | 1967 1 1985 |
Series
H i g h | Low 1
Low 1 - 3 5 1 JUN 1 _ -1*85_.
1 Hxcih 1
A VQ. 1
1
1
1
1
1
1
88.6]
Total Industry
36.91 69.51 81.71 80.51 79. 8 80.3
7 2 . 11
87.7J

Manufacturing

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
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

37.41
8 9 . 3J
101.91
105.81
95.61
35.01
89.0)
b5.7l

j

b8.2|

63.71
52.71

1

1

77.01
89.21
87.71
1
88.81
85.81
92.11
95.61
88.61
99.61
97.51

69.61
74.91
69.01

1
92.31
1
95.61
98.71

79.0

79.4

78. 9

78.3

68.01

80.6)

80.11

79.6

80.2

80.41 80.7

79.8

79.1

79.5

79.2

78.6

65.11
69.51
1
63.71
62.91
45.81
37.61
60. 81
b1.3)
62.91

81.71
80.21

82.01
79.3J
1

83.1
78. U

83.0
79-0

64.6
73.8

83.9
73.1

82.9
77. 2

83.3

83. 1
77. 5

82.1
77.1

78.01
31.41
70.8|
64.91
80.21
80.61

77.2
80.4
75.5
72.0
81.0
81.2
72.0
70.7
81.9
74.0
87.0
81.7
83.5

77.9

83.31
79.0|
j
78.1J
81.91
74.31
69.91
81.31
81.51
72.91
73.01

78.2
83.1
77.3
7 3.4
33. b
81.9
72.6
71.1
85.3
62.2
38.1
81. b
63.6

77.J

7b.6
83.5
71.6
64.4
32. 9
81.3
70.0
70.2
82.1
80.4
88.5
81.9
83.2

76. 1

75.3

82. 6
70. 6

66.5

65.1
86.S
81.7
33.2

76.3
82.6
70,8
63.5
62»3
31.2
70- 9
69.7
79.4
75.7
87.2
81. 9
83.1

83.2
78.6
85.2

83.6
78.8

84.6|
86.11

33.41
80.21
84.21
91.2J
78.2|
85.31
86.31
87-71

33.9)
79.31
86.31
93.91
78.51
88. 11
86.8|

88.6

84.4
79.4
87. 1
94.3
79.6
92.1
36.7
33.31 3 8 . 1

83.8
79.6
89.5
93.4
79.7
38.0
86.4
66.0

63.5 84.0
78.9
79.3
87.9
89.2
93-2 93.0
79-7 30.1
37.5 91.1
8 5 . 1 - 83-7
86.5 87.4

30.9

79.7

30.01 60.0

76.4

76-4

76.0

74.

82.7
81.5

82.3

85.31 83.8

80.8

84.41 81.2

82.1
30.1

31.8
80.9

82.2
82.3

67.91 86.31
67.11 86. oj
67.01 9/. 11
66.61 100.31
62.11 91.11
64.71 37.41

97.11

8b. 41

79.9

1
89.11
85.11

68.31
71.11

i

Primary processing
Advanced processing

i

JUN

i
80.71 80.8

8b.5)

69.91

91.91
66.0)

1

.1^30

71.81
77.61
58.91
67.71
69.21
83.71
59.51
72.31

86.01
8^. 9 |
9-i. 31
93.31

87.11
83.91
81.01
1
87.01
8 o . 11
83.31

92.71
82.91
91.71
89.41

bb. 91
47.01
36.61
70.7J
77.81
69.11
1
74.41
76.51
70.61
80.81
b7.6|

i

73.31
77.71
80.21
79.41
81.31
77.9|
76.51
73.31

74.6)
73.91
82.2|
7 9 . 21
34.2|
8 3 . 51
83.21

78.01

1
76.61

83.4J
81.81

83.51
82.4|

84.51

83.4|

78.71
87.71

92.41

69.71
71.21
78.91

87.81

95.21

76.91

87.71

82.7J

82.91
33.01

88.51
87.61

78.0}

87.91
38.71

84. 11
82.61

90.7
78.4
86.6
86.7
87.9

79.9
76.0
72.9
80.9
80.9
73-0
72.0
83.5

75.8
87.6
82.0
83.2

87.7
91.2
78.4

86.5
87.4

83.91
79.41
87.21
81.61

83.21

82.0

73. 7
b6.2
62.4
81.9
71.8

77.9

62.5
83.
80.
70.
6y.
79.

75.

3
7
3
7
0
3

88. 3
80. 5
33. 2
84. 0

80.2
69.6
•' ti 8 . 3

80-1

79.5
88.1
80.0
82.7
83.8

79. 3
88. 7
93.0
80.0
91. 4
83. 5
87. 3

91.8

7

73.6

81.3
81.4

81.4
81.9

86.6

•

78.21

Table 2

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

1935

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 Darts
Automobiles
Aerospace and misc. trans, eqp.
Instruments
Other durables
lllwllwll IVIflv

1986
Ui

|

1
1
1
1
124.2 124.8 125.41125.6 124.71
1
1
126.6 127.6 128.21128.9 128.51

£2

Q3

£4

Q2

108.1 109.5 110.41111.7 110.71
137.9 138.6 139.01139.1 139.21
1
j
127.9 128.5 128.91129.1 127.71
115.6 115.8 116.31119.7
1
78.7 80.4 32.81 8 1 . 0 75.7J
1
68.3 70.0 73.91 7 0 . 1
1
98.3 100.2 99.51 101.7
108.3 107.5 103.41109.1 107.91
147.9 147.7 144.91144.6 141.91
1b9.2 165.6 163.61 166.3 165.71
110.6 115.0 113.91115.4 112.81
112.5 114.6 109.21116.3 112.31
135.4 140.0 1 4 2 . 4 ( 1 4 3 . 1 145.71
139.7 140.8 140.41 141.8 141.51
122.7 123.9 124.71125.7 126.01

CAPACITY

1

UTI

1 198s
1986
Q4 Q1
U2 1 Q2
1
1
154.0 155. 1 156.21157.2 158.11 80.7
1
1
157.7 158.9 160.21161.3 1b2.41 80. J

1935
W2

Q3

132.0 132.4 132.81133.2
173.2 174.9 176.71178.3
1
163.1 164.5 165.31 167.0
142.3 143.2 144.11144.9
110.8 110.4 110.0J109.5
104.3 103.8 103.31102.5
122.9 122.9 122.8)122.6
133.2 133.3. 133.41133.5
194.3 196.9 199.41201.4
228.5 231.5 234.51236.9
133.9
139.2
162.8
167.9
147.4

135. 4
141.0
162.9
169.3
148.5

137.01138.6
142.91143. b

163.11163.8
171.71173.5

149.71150.8
1
152.3J153.3
166.71168.1
123.21123.3
140.61141.4
163.31164.2
100.91100.5
172.1J174.4
148.31149.6
*
134.11134.3

LIZATION
198b
Q4
01
1
30.5 80.31 79.9

Q2

dO.i

30.01

79.1

Q3

78.8

133.61
179-71
1

81.9
79.6

82.7
79.2

63.11 83.8
78-71 78.0

82.9

1b8.11
1
108.9)
1
1
133.61
202.8(
2dHm81
140.31
143.11
165-01
175-21
151.81

78.5
81.2
71.0
65.5
80.0
81.3
76.1
74.1
82.7
60.8
83.2
83.2
83.3

78-1
30.9
72.9
b7.4
81.5
80.7
75.0
71.5
84.9
81.2
85.9
82.9
83.4

77-71
80.71
75.21
71.61
81.01
81.21
72.61
71.91
83.11
76.41
87.31
81.81
83.31

77.3
82.6
73.9
68.3
32.8
31.7
71.8
70.2
83.2
81.0
87.4

76.0

83.4

30.7
69.9
69.4
30.4
78.4
88.3
80.8
83.0

154.41
1
1
1
1

83.6
30.1
36.0
91.8

83.9

86.0
86.7
87.2

83.61
78.91
86.41
91.91
78.41
87.11
87.01
88.31

B3m 9

100.21
1
150.91

33. 1
80.1
82.1
90.2
78.2
85.2
86.3
87.6

81.7

77.5

69.5

126.4 127.21128.b 129.51
1
132.4 131.51 133-3
j
105.7 106.41108.7
128.4 129.31132.4
1
127.9 123.11130.8
1
87.5 87.91 8 9 . 6 91.61
1
147.4 149.71150.1
128.2 130.9J129-9 131.41

150.2 151.2
164.0 165.3
'122.7 122.9
139.1 139.9
161.5 162.4
102.3 101.6
167.9 170.0
14 5.8 147.0

Mining

110-0 108.5 107.61105.1 100.51

133.6 133-9

134. 31

32.3

31.0

80.2|

78.3

74.8

Utilities
Electric utilities

1
113.6 111.4 113.71113.1 112.11
119.3 118.3 120.31119.4
1

134.5 135.4 136.31136.9 137.31
144.2 145.5 146.91148.0 148.71

84.4
82.6

82.3
81.3

83.41 82.6
82.21 80.7

81.6
81.9

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

i

Not*. 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




i

78.7

79.3
88.2
93.6
79.7
89.2
86.1
86.9

91.4
87.1

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
1973 | 1975 | 1978
Series
Hiyh i Lou ] -8U

1

1
70-51

Industrial Materials

I
1

I
I
Durable goods materials

91.8|
J

Metal materials

99.2J

Raw steel
Aluminum

i
106.0J
9b.7|
i

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

9 1 . 1J

92.8J
I
98. Hi
92-5J

64.41

1
67.11
66.41
73.01
j
1
66.71
1
64. 81
i
7U.6J
04.41

I
I

I
1

94.bj

Energy materials

1982
Low

1985
JUN

1

86.91

L

L_

J
ii^.1|
i
1
89.81
I
93.6J
i

98.9|
97.4|
»
I
88.1|
I

89.4|

1
68.41
i
J
60.9|
J
45.7J
i
36.11
58.81
1
i
70.61
J
68. o|

1

97. 3 i 79.91
67. 9f 63.31
i
J
1
1
94.0)
82.21
L. L

82.51
i
1

79.41
I
78.41
1
81.11
88.01
1
83.21
I
83.6|
1
91.31
80.81
1
1
89.71

1 OCI
1
79.3
80. 11
I

19 do
MOV | DhC j JAN 1 r ' i 1 Ak* j Affe | MA* 1 JUN
&r

79.2 80.

7d. o
74.2

73.5 73.0
66.6

75.2

75.8

75.8J

69.4

70.8

70.71 71.J

o8.4

66.4

66.8

b7.4|
72.0|
1
i
61.01
1
81.4]
I

67.4
68.5

66.4
66.0

69.8
6 7.4

o5.8
68.4

69.1 64.9
69.5 69.3

81.9

81.5

82.4

82.1

61.8|
65.71
1
I
82.71
1
83.51

av.6
80.5

90.1
78.8

86.2

84.7

79.21
J
I
87.31

71.9
oo.U

75.Z

74.1

76.51
I
69.0|

90.5|

76.4

78.7 78.3 77.9

64.4

83.5

83.7

82.4

83.5

83.5 83.4

84.3

84.6

83.4

84.2

84.3 84.4

94.71 94. a
8 0 . 1 | 81.1
i
l
87.41 °S.9

yJ.7
dl).9

ii.*
79.9

93.t. * j . 1
80.4 b1.0

85.7

84.7

84.7

84.4

83.9

I

L

Table 4

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

JUTPUT
198i>

Q2

Industrial Materials
Durable goods materials
Metal materials
Raw steel
Aluminum
Nondurable goods materials

1
114.5 114.2 114.81 115.2 113.9
i
1
121.4 120.7 121.41121.6 119.2
80.2

79-4

42.4| 80.2

7b. 2

70.7
83.5

68.31 71.9
78.81 79.1
1
J
111-2 113.7 113.8|115.7 116.4
71.2
86.4

1'J8b

1985

1986

| £*»

U3

^3

UTILIZATION
1936
U4
Qi

142.5

1
143.4 144.31145.0 143.5

30.4

79.6

79.

157.4

1
160.5| 161.6 162.2

77.1

76.0

b3.4

67.7

7 5 . 61 7 5 - 3
i
7 0 . 31 6 3 . 7

b/.9
72.9

o7.4
70.6

65.
66.

158. 9

117.J 117. 3 117.31116.7 115.6
•
104.9 104. 8 104.8)103.»
118.6 118. 3 1i8.1J117.to
I
1
1
137.8
138.71139.1 139.4 I

Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials

111.0 114. 1 114.0)116.2 116.6
1
121.8 123.8 124.54128.3
112.6 114.6 114.21115.7
J
1

Energy materials

10 5.*: 103.2 104.21103.6 102.5
1

73.5
65.9

•

69. 2
67. 3
1

30. /

82.

I

0|

«-5

1

34.3

i

137. 4 137.8J138.1 138.4 !

81.0

83.0

13 6.2 136- 3 136.51136.8
142.0 142. 6 143.1J143.u
I
1
1
120.3 U0.6 120.91121.2 U1.5
1

89.4
7*. J

90-8
80.4

87.5

35.5

137.0

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 th« 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.




^2
78.3

1

i

Textile, paper and chemical materials

51 7 9 . 4

82.71
1
91.21
79.31
i
1
8 6 . 11

84.

93.8
80.6
35-

4

34.3

Perspective. The historical highs and lows in capacity utilization shown in the tables above are
specific to each series and did not ali 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 "Revised Federal
Reserve Rates of Capacity Utilization", Federal 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. Aggregates are derived from unrounded detailed components.
Release schedule 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.