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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
G.3 (402)

For immediate release
March 18, 1981
CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
February 1981

Capacity utilization rates for manufacturers and for producers of
industrial materials declined in February. The rate for manufacturing fell
0,7 of a percentage point to 79.3 percent of capacity, and the rate for
industrial materials producers decreased 0.5 of a percentage point to 81.2
percent. Although these rates had increased for six consecutive months prior
to February, they still were below their levels in early 1980.
Within manufacturing, declines in utilization rates were widespread
in February. The operating rate for the primary processing industries dropped
1.0 percentage point to 79.8 percent, and the advanced processing industries
rate decreased 0.7 of a percentage point to 79.0 percent. Utilization rates
fell by 1.0 to 1.4 percentage points for the electrical machinery, iron and
steel, aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, instruments, and
paper industries. More moderate declines occurred for producers of nonelectrical machinery, nonferrous metals, textiles, petroleum products, and
stone, clay, and glass« The operating rate for the motor vehicles and parts
industry also declined moderately, to about 57 percent of capacity, a rate
far below its historical norm.
Producers of durable goods materials utilized 77.2 percent of their
capacity in February, down 0.8 of a percentage point from January, while the
rate for nondurable goods materials producers eased 0.3 of a percentage point
to 85.9 percent. In contrast, the operating rate for energy materials producers increased 0 - of a percentage point to 85.8 percent.
.6

MANUFACTURING

PERCENT

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

100
ENERGY
TOTAL

v-

—

1

1 I 1

I
1 _ 1
eJ\

1 1 1 I 1

1

\ U
1 /

1 ! 1 I

1969




1972

I

60
100
NONDURABLE GOODS

PRIMARY PROCESSING

—

1 I

80

ADVANCED
PROCESSING

1 1 1
1975

I
1978

80

V_
1
1981

60
1972

197S

1978

1981

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

|
1

1
1

1975
LOi

1980
FEB.

HAH-

IP*.

HAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SEP.

OCT.

NOV.

DSC. |

1981
JAN.

FEB.

88.0|

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

1973|
HIGHI

69.0

83.5

82.8

80.3

77.6

75.7

74.9

75.5

76.7

78.2

79.4

79.9

80. 0

79.3

1
1

PRIMARY PROCESSING

93.81

68.2

85.2

83.8

80 .5

75.8

72.7

70.9

72.5

75.2

77.6

79.6

80.7

80.8

79.8

ADVANCED PROCESSING

85.51

69.4

82.6

82.2

80 .1

78.6

77.4

77.1

77.1

77.7

78.5

79.2

79.6

79.7

79.0

1979
IV

CAPACITY
1980
I
II

III

1979
IV

UTILIZATION
1980
I
II

III

IV

183.3

184.8

186.3

187.8|

84.4

83.4

77.9

75.7

79.2

188.5

190.0

191.5

86.9

85-1

76.3

72.9

79. 3

180.5

182.0

183.5

193.0|
•
185.0|

83.6

82.5

78.7

77.3

79.1

)

J

1
1

OUTPUT
1980

1979
IV

XII

II

152.8

143.9

141.0

148-7| 181.7
1

162.5

PRIMARY PROCESSING

I

153.4

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

160.5

145.0

139.6

1
153.0| 187,1

IYI

I
1

•

ADVANCED PROCESSING

i

148.5

148.8

143.3

141.8

146 • 4| 178.9

1
1
111
1

j

Industrial Materials
MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
19731
H;GHI

SERIES

1975
LOW
69.4

85.6

I

1980
MAR.

APR.

HAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SEP.

OCT.

NpV.

DBC.I

1981
JAN.

FEB.

84.7

82.1

78.3

75.7

73.7

74.6

76.4

78.4

80.4

81.2|

81.7

81.2
77.2

1
MATERIALS* TOTAL

92.6|

1
1

1
1
63.6

82.7

82.2

78.8

74.1

70.8

68.0

69,1

70.4

73.5

76.5

77.3|

78.0

68.6

82.0

83.6

77.2

70.0

67.0

58.4

62.2

63.9

71.5

81.4

81.0|

81.5

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

91.5|
1
98.31
1
1
94.5|

67.2

90.0

88.3

86.1

81-8

78.7

76.8

78.2

82.7

84.. 4

84.3

86.3|

86.2

35.9

TEX., PAPER, 8 CBEH. HAT.

95.1|

65.3

90.3

88.5

86.0

81.3

77.1

74.5

76.4

81.6

83.8

83.7

85.91

85.6

85.3

92.6|
99.4|
95.5)

57.9
72.4
64.2

87.2
94.4
90.1

86.8
93.0
87.9

84.6
90.7
85.2

84.5
90.8
78.3

81.8
91.6
72.7

82.0
88.1
69.6

79.5
90.2
72.5

82.0
93.9
78.7

82,1
93.0
82.1

80.7
94.1
82.0

79.5|
94.9|
85.21

80.0
92.5
85.3

94.6|

84.8

87.6

86.5

85.8

85.3

85.8

85.6

85.2

84.1

83.1

85.5

1
84.51

85.2

1979
IV

OUTPUT
1980
I
II

1979
IV

UTILIZATION
1980
I
II

187.21
1
1
191.51

86.3

85-5

84.1

141.01
1

85.1

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
METAL MATERIALS

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

1

1
1

1
1
ENERGY MATERIALS

156.5

156.3

145.1

139.2

1
1 1979
IV j
IV
1
149.81 181.2

156.3

155.0

140.6

131.5

145.11 185.7

i 119.6

117.1

100.6

86.6

109.91 140.6

1
MATERIALS, TOTAL

III

CAPACITY
1980
I
II

III

184.3

185.8

187.2

188.6

190.0

140.7

140.8

140.9

182.8

1
DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
METAL MATERIALS

1
1
IV1

III

85.8

IV
80.0

78,7

74.9

82.8

74.6

69.2

75.8

83.2

71.4

61.5

78.0

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

179.2

179.3

166.0

161.9

175.5| 197.6

199.8

202.0

204.3

206.51

90.6

89.7

82.2

79.2

85.0

TEX., PAPER, Z CHEH. MAT.

187.9

187.5

171.9

165.6

182.61 205.8

208.3

211.0

213.7

216.2J

91.2

90.0

81.5

77.5

84.5

I 123.8
148.9
231.8

120.6
146.1
233.6

116.4
142.1
208.3

113.4
142.9
197.9

113.11 138.4
149.4| 153.3
226.8| 256.8

138.8
154.7
260.4

139.2
156.0
264.6

139.6
157.4
268.7

140.0|
158.8|
272.91

89.4
97.1
90,2

86.9
94.5
89.7

83,7
91.0
78.7

81.2
90.7
73.6

80.8
94.0
83.1

129.0

130.8

130.0

129.6

129.21 150.3

151.1

151.8

152.6

1
153.1|

85.9

86.6

85.6

85.0

84.4

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

1
1
ENERGY MATERIALS

NOTE:

I

ESTIMATES OF ACTUAL OUTPUT AND CAPACITY OUTPUT ABB BOTH EXPRESSED AS PERCENTAGES OF 1967 ACTUAL OUTPUT. ESTIMATES OF
CAPACITY UTILIZATION IN PERCENT ARE CALCULATED AS RATIOS OF (1) THE FEDERAL RESERVE*S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ro (2) THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF CAPACITY. INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS ARE ITEMS 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 HELL AS SOME OF THE OUTPUT OF MINES AND UTILITIES — SUCH AS IRON ORB, CRUDE OIL, AND
ELECTRICITY SOLD TO INDUSTRY.
THE 1S73 HIGHS AND 1975 LOWS IN CAPACITY UTILIZATION, SHOWN IN THE TABLES ABOVE, ARE SPECIFIC TO EACH SERIES AND HAY 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 1979, AND ABOUT 85 PERCENT FOR INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS FOR 1967 THROUGH 1979. 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 METHODOLOGY AND THE SERIES ARE DESCRIBED IN FJDJRAJi RESERVE HJASURJS. OF CAPACITY AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION. REVISED DATA
ARE FOUND IN "CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS, JANUARY 1967—DECEMBER 7978." BOTH PUBLICATIONS HAT BE OBTAINED FROM PUBLICATIONS SERVICES, BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20551