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FEDERAL

RESERVE

statistical

release

(402)

G.3

For immediate release
June 18, 1979
CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
May 1979

Manufacturers operated at 85.6 per cent of capacity in May,
up from the strike-affected April rate of 84.7 per cent, but below the
86.3 per cent reached last December.
Industrial materials producers operated at 87,4 per cent of
their capacity in May, up from the 86.7 per cent rate in April, but
also below that of last December.
The May operating rate in manufacturing was below the December
level mainly because of reduced rates for primary metals, motor vehicles
and parts, and petroleum and products industries. From April to May,
capacity utilization in advanced .processing industries rose 1.1 percentage points to 84.4 per cent as output of motor vehicles and parts
recouped most of its sharp April drop. Capacity utilization in primary
processing industries rose to 87.6 per cent in May from 87.2 per cent
in April,
Among industrial materials, utilization rates for paper and
chemical materials and equipment parts were in recent months above yearend levels, while rates for basic metal, textile, and energy materials
and parts for consumer durable goods were below the December rates.
In May the capacity utilization rate for manufacturing was 2.4
percentage points below its 1973 peak of 88.0 per cent. The rate for
advanced processing industries was 1 percentage point below the 1973
peak rate. The utilization rate for industrial materials production
was 5.7 percentage points below its 1973 peak of 93.1 per cent.

MANUFACTURING

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

PER CENT
100

TOTAL

80
TOTAL

I

60

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

100

NONDURABLE GOODS

PRIMARY PROCESSING

80

ADVANCED PROCESSING
DURABLE OOOOS

I
1067

I




I

I
1970

I

I

I
1073

I

I

I
1076

I

I

I

I

1070

1070

I

I

I
1073

I

I
1076

1070

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

1
1

1975
1978
19731
LOW
MAY
HIGttL
1
69.6
83.9
88.01
1
1
86.2
93.61 68.1
1
70.4
82.5
85.41
1
OUTPUT
1978
1
II
TIT
139.8

144.4

147.7

PRIMARY PROCESSING

148.2

154.1

158.2

ADVANCED

135.4

139.3

142.1

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

PROCESSING

JUNE

JUI Y

AUG.

SEP.

OCT.

NOV.

84.3

84.7

85.0

85.3

85.5

85.8

87.1

87.3

87.7

88.3

88.6

89.0

83.8

84.0

82.8

IV

1
150.61
1
1
161.91
1
144.51

83.4

83.5

1
19791
1978
II
I
1
152.4! 170.3
!
1
162.11 176.8
1
147.21 166.9
1

83.6

CAPACITY
I
I

II
I

172.0

173.7

178.5

180.2

168.5

170.2

IV

1
175.41
1
I
181.91
1
171.81
»

1
DEC.I
1
86.3|
1
1
89.4|
1
84.61
1
1
19791
II
\
177.11
f
1
183.81
1
173.41
1

1979
JAN.

FEB.

MAR.

APR.

MAY

86.0

85.9

86.2

84.7

85.6

88.3

88.1

88.1

87.2

87.6

84.8

84.7

85.2

83.3

84.4

UTILIZATION
1979

1979

I
82.1

IT
84.0

II!

85.0

I

IV

1
85.91
1
!
89.01
1
84.lt
1

86.1

83.8

96.3

87.8

81.1

82.7

83.5

1
DEC. 1
1
88.11
1

1979
JAN.

F5B.

MAR.

APR.

MAY

87.4

87.1

87.6

86.7

87.4

86.21
1
89.11
1
1
88.31
f
86.9|
1
81.91
86.81
88.31
1
1
86.91
I
|
19791
Tl
1
175.61
1
1
178.41
1
147. IS
1
\
190.71
|
199.81
!
145.81
158.01
240.21
I
|

87.3

86.5

87.1

85.7

86.9

84.8

83.5

85.0

83.4

88.2
84.9

Industrial Materials
MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION '
SERIES

MATERIALS, TOTAL

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
BASIC METAL MATERIALS

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
TEX., PAPER, £ CHEM. MAT.
TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

ENERGY MATERIALS

19731
HIGHl
1
93.11
f
|
92.51
1
97.7|
1
(
94.61
i
94.51
|
94.41
100.51
93.81
1
I
94.6|
1

1975
LOW

1978
MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SfP-

HCT.

NfW.

69.7

84.5

85.1

85.7

85.9

86.3

87.1

87.6

64.3

82.1

82.8

84.5

85.3

86.1

87.0

87.3

66.1

80.4

80.8

83.1

85.6

66.4

87.4

87.9

r

67.8

88.6

88.7

87.5

87.2

8T.8

88.2

69.0

65.5

86.9

87.0

86.5

85.5

86.7

86.9

87.7

58.0
71.8
64.7

81.0
90.5
fl7.7

81.7
90.2
87.8

81.1
86.9
87.8

60.2
84.4
87.2

81.9
88.2
87.6

81.8
87.7
38.1

82.9
87.7
89.0

82.7

84.7

86.1

86.3

85.6

84.8

86.0

86.2

OUTPUT
1978

I
MATERIALS, TOTAL

139.2

TI

ITT

145.1

146.7

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

137.9

144.0

150.4

BASIC METAL MATERIALS

110.5

117.5

TZ4.6

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

158.0

163.2

TEX., PAPER, t CHEM. NAT.

163.1

167.7

163.2
168.4

115.3
136.5
194.9

117.1
139.7
201.4

117.3
134.8
204.4

119.1

125.5

127.0

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

ENERGY MATERIALS

NOTE:

IV

1
152.61
1
1
155.21
1
129.41
1
1
166.91
1
172.21
1
119.41
137.21
209.51
1
1
128. 7 f
1

1
19791
II
1
153. 4*
t
1
155.2)
1
124.21
1
t
169.31
1
175.01
1
117.31
137.61
215.61
1
1
129.31
1

CAPACITY
1978
I

I
I

170.4

171.7

174.0

175.2

145.8

146.1

182.3

184.4

19O.8

193.1

143^5
153.6
226.6

144.1
154.8
230.1

147.2

147.8

II
I

IV

1
173.0
174.21
1
1
176.3
177.41
1
146.81
146.5
I
1
186.5
188.5!
t
195.4
197.5)
1
1 44-. 7 145.21
155.8
156.91
236.61
233.5
i
|
146.4

148. 9f 150.21
1
1

68.6

88.7

89.1

89.0

89.5

87.3

8T.6

88.0

88.3

88.7

81.1
84.7
89.6

79.4
87.6
89.9

80.6
88.8
89.8

80.0
89.6
90.1

85.8

86.7

85.7

85.8

85.3

UTILIZATION
1978

I

I
I

II
I

1979
I

IV
1

84.5

86.0

79. 3

82.2

85.3

75. fr

80.4

85.1

86.7

86.5

87.5

85.5

66.8

86.2

80.3
88.9
86.0

81.2
90.3
8T.5

81.0
86.5
87.5

60.9

84.9

95.6

81.7

87.61
1
I
8^.51
I
88.11
1

87.4

87.0
84.4

88.51
1
87.2)
|

88.8

82.21
87.41
88.51
I

80.5
87.1
89.?

86.4)
-..
t

87.6

86.1

ESTIMATES OF ACTUAL OUTPUT AND CAPACITY OUTPUT ARE BOTH EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGES OF 1967 ACTUAL OUTPUT. ESTIMATES OF
CAPACITY UTILIZATION IN PERCENT ARE CALCULATED AS RATIOS Of t i l THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TO 12) THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF CAPACITY.
INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS ARE ITEHS BOTH PRODUCED AND USED AS INPUTS BY MANUFACTURING PLANTS, MINES AND UTILITIES; INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS COVER MANY OF THE ITEMS REPRESENTED IN THE PRIMARY
PROCESSING GROUPING OF MANUFACTURING AS WELL AS SOME OF THE OUTPUT OF MINES AND UTILITIES — SUCH- AS IRON ORE, CRUDE OIL, AND
ELECTRICITY SOLD TO INDUSTRY.
THE 1973 HIGHS AND 19T5 LOWS IN CAPACITY UTILIZATION, SHOWN IN THE TABLES ABOVE, ARE SPECIFIC TO EACH SERIES AND MAY OCCUR IN
DIFFERENT MONTHS. INDUSTRIAL PLANTS USUALLY OPERATE 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 85 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 ON PRICES.
THE CAPACITY UTILIZATION ESTIMATES ARE DESCRIBED, AND HISTORICAL DATA ARE PROVIDED, IN FEDERAL RESERVE MEASURES ££ CAPACITY
AMD CAPACITY UTILIZATION* 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.