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FEDERAL

RESERVE

statistical

release
For Immediate Release
Kay 17, 1979

CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
April 1979
Manufacturers operated at 84.9 per cent of capacity in April
down from the relatively high March rate of 86.1 per cent. This drop
reflected declines in industrial production caused primarily by the strike
and lockout in the trucking industry and the steel-haulers dispute. For
the five months prior to the April work stoppages, the manufacturing utilization
rate was only about 2 percentage points below its 1973 high.
The capacity utilization rate in advanced processing industries
declined by 1.6 percentage points to 83.5 per cent largely because of a nearly
14 per cent drop in motor vehicle production that resulted primarily from a
strike-related shortage of parts. In March the utilization rate for the
advanced processing industries was close to the 1973 peak. The utilization
rate in primary processing industries declined by 0.5 percentage point to
87.4 per cent.
Industrial materials capacity utilization fell by 0.8 percentage
point to 86.7 per cent compared to a 1973 high of 93.1 per cent. Capacity
utilization for durable goods materials dropped to 85.5 per cent in April
from 87.0 per cent in March. This decline also was due largely to the
work stoppages in trucking. Capacity utilization for nondurable goods
materials was unchanged, and the rate for energy materials declined by 0.5
percentage point due to a cutback in crude oil extraction.
MANUFACTURING

PER CENT

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

100

TOTAL

80

60
100
PRIMARY PROCESSING

NONDURABLE GOODS

80

ADVANCED PROCESSING

 1067


DURABLE GOODS

I
1970

1973

1976

I
1979

60

I
1970

I

I

I

1973

I

I

I

1976

I

I
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,

I
I

PRIMARY PROCESSING
ADVANCED

PROCESSING

1975
LOW

88.0)
1
1
93.61
1
85.41
I

TOTAL

19731
HIGHJ

PRIMARY

PROCESSING

DJELa

1979
JAN*

FEB.

84.7

85.0

85.3

85.5

85.8

86.3

86.0

85.8

86.1

87.1

87.3

87.7

88.3

83.6

89.0

88.3

88.1

87.9

87.4

82.8

83.4

83.5

83.6

83.8

84.0

89.4f
1
84.6|
1

84.8

84.6

85.1

83.5

83.7

83.9

84.3

68.1

85.7

86.2

70.4

82.7

82.5

II
144.4

?II

147.7

148.2

154.1

158.2

135.4

ADVANCED PROCESSING

NDV^

69.6

OUTPUT

139.8

Q£I*

JUNE

I

TOTAL

SEP.

MAY

1978

MANUFACTURING,

AUG.

1978
APR.

139.3

142.1

IV

1
150.61
1
1
161.9J
1
144.51
I

1
19791
' I!
1
152.31
1
1
162.01
1
147.11
|

JULY

CAPACITY
1978
I

H

III

IV

»
19791
I
I

__flA&-_ — A£Bx
84.9

UTILIZATION
1979
1

1978

1 ™I - H
—
I«
I

IV

1

170.3

172.0

173.7

176.8

178.5

180.2

166.9

168.5

170.2

175.41 177.11
1
1
1
1
181. <»1 183.81
1
1
171.81 173.41

84.0

82.1

85.0

86.0

85.91

»
1
83.8

86.3

87.8

89.01

81.1

82.7

83.5

84.11

88. 1

1
84.8

j

Industrial Materials
MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
SERIES

MATERIALS, TOTAL

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
BASIC METAL

MATERIALS

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
T E X . , PAPER, t CHEM.

MAT.

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

ENERGY MATERIALS

19731
HIGH]
1
93.11
1
1
92.51
1
97.71
1
1
94.6|
1
94.51
1
94.41
100.51
93.81
1
1
94.6(
1

1975
r
LOW 1

1978
APR.

MAY

JUME

JULY

4U5*

69.7

84.0

84.5

85.1

85.7

85.9

64.3

81.6

82.1

82.8

84.5

85.3

87.3
87.9

67.8

88.2

88.6

88.7

87.5

87.2

87.8

88.2

89.0

65.5

86.5

86.9

87.0

86.5

85.5

86.7

86.9

87.7

58.0
71.8
64.7

81.0
90.2
87.2

81.0
90.5
87.7

81.7
90.2
87.8

81.1
86.9
87.8

80.2
84.4
87.2

81.9
88.2
87.6

81.8
87.7
88.1

82.9
87.7
89.0

84.0

84.7

86.1

86.3

85.6

84.8

86.0

86.2

82.7

II

\11

148.7

GOODS MATERIALS

137.9

144.0

150.4

110.5

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

87.0
87.4

83.1

145.1

MAT.

86.1

fr6.4

80.8

139.2

TEX., PAPER, t CHEM.

87.6

80.4

TOTAL

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

87.1

86.3

80.0

I

BASIC METAL MATERIALS

NOV.

66.1

1978

DURABLE

OCT.

85.6

OUTPUT

MATERIALS,

SE%

117.5

124.6

158.0

163.2

163.2

163.1

167.7

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

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
128.71
1

1
1979J
I!
1
153.3J
1
1
155.11
1
124.31
1
1
169.41
f
175.01
1
117.81
137.41
215.31
1
1
129.0J
I

CAPACITY
1978

I

I
I

_III

170.4

171.7

173.0

174.0

175.2

176.3

145.8

146.1

146.5

182.3

184.4

186.5

190.8

193.1

195.4

143.5
153.6
226.6

144.1
154.8
230.1

144.7
155.8
233.5

147.2

147.8

148.4

IV

1
174.21
1
1
177.41
1
146.81
1
1
188.51
1
197.51
1
145.21
156.91
236.81
1
1
148.91
1

1
19791
II
1
175.61
1
1
178.41
1
147.11
1
1
190.7J
1
199.81
1
145.81
158.01
240.21
1
1
150.21
1

1
DEC. f
1
88.11
1
1
88.21
1
89.11
1
1
88.3|
1
86.91
1
81.9|
86.8|
88.3(
1
1
86.9|
J

1979
JAN.

FF-Pf

MAR.

APR.

87.4

86.9

87.5

86.7

87.3

86.7

87.0

85.5

84.8

84.0

84.8

88.6

88.8

39.1

89.1

87.3

87.6

87.9

88.1

81.1
84.7
89.6

80.2
87.6
89.8

81.0
88.5
89.6

85.8

85.0

86.9

66.4

UTILIZATION
1979

1978

1
_

I
I

II
I

IV

1
1

81.7

79.3

84.5

86.0

82.2

85.3

B7.3

87.61

87.51

1
1

75.8

80.4

85.1

86.7

88.5

87.5

85.5

86.8

86.2

80.3
88.9
86.0

81.2
90.3
87.5

81.0
86.5
87.5

80.9

84.9

85.6

1
88.11
1
1
88.51
1
87.21
1
82.21
87.41
88.51
1
1
86.41
1

87.0
84.5

88.8
87.6
80.8
87.0
89.6

ENERGY

MATERIALS

NOTE:

E S T I M A T E S OF ACTUAL OUTPUT AND CAPACITY OUTPUT ARE BOTH EXPRESSED AS P E R C E N T A G E S OF 1967 ACTUAL OUTPUT. ESTIMATES OF
CAPACITY UTILIZATION IN PERCENT ARE CALCULATED AS R A T I O S OF U) THE F E D E R A L RESERVE'S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TO <2) THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF CAPACITY.
I N D U S T R I A L M A T E R I A L S ARE ITEMS BOTH PRODUCED AND USED AS IN:
UTS BY M A N U F A C T U R I N G PLANTS, MINES AND UTILITIES; I N D U S T R I A L M A T E R I A L S COVER M A N Y OF THE ITEMS REPRESENTED IN THE P R I M A R Y
PROCESSING GROUPING OF M A N U F A C T U R I N G AS WELL AS SOME 3F THE OUTPUT OF M I N E S AND UTILITIES — SUCH AS IRON ORE, CRUDE OIL, AND
ELECTRICITY SOLD TO INDUSTRY.

85.9

THE 1973 HIGHS AND 1975 LOWS IN C A P A C I T Y UTILIZATION, SHOWN IN THE T A B L E S ABOVE, ARE SPECIFIC TO EACH S E R I E S A N D MAY OCCUR IN
O I P F E R E N T MONTHS. I N D U S T R I A L PLANTS 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 THAT ARE W E L L B E L O W 100 PERCENT; N O N E OF
THE B R O A D A G G R E G A T E S E R I E S HAS EVER INDICATED A 100 PERCENT 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 A V E R A G E D ABOUT 83
PERCENT FOR M A N U F A C T U R I N G FROM 1955 THROUGH 1977, AMD A B O U T 85 P E R C E N T FOR I M O U S T R I A L M A T E R I A L S FOR 1967 THROUGH 1977.
IN
M A N U F A C T U R I N G AS A WHOLE, U T I L I Z A T I O N RATES AS HIGH AS 90 PERCENT H A V E B E E N E X C E E D E D ONLY IN W A R T I M E . THE PEAK 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 T E D WITH S I G N I F I C A N T U P W A R D P R E S S U R E ON PRICES.
THE C A P A C I T Y U T I L I Z A T I O N E S T I M A T E S ARE DESCRIBED, AND H I S T O R I C A L D A T A ARE PROVIDED, IN EEDJlfiAi. BESffiVJE BEASUS££ Q£ C A P A C I T Y
AND C A P A C I T Y UTILIZATION.
THIS P U B L I C A T I O N MAY BE O B T A I N E D FROM P U B L I C A T I O N SERVICES, BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE F E D E R A L IESERVE SYSTEM, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20551. THE PRICE IS $1.75 PER COPY; FOR TEN 9R M O R E , 41.50 EACH.