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FEDERAL

RESERVE

statistical

release
For immediate release
November 16, 1978

G.3

CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
November 1978

Capacity utilization in manufacturing edged up by an estimated
.2 percentage point in October to 85.3 per cent. The utilization rate
in the advanced processing sector increased by .4 percentage point, with
higher production in the transportation equipment industry accounting for
much of this rise. The primary processing utilization rate was little
changed in October.
Capacity utilization in materials was about unchanged in
October—up by .1 percentage point. Capacity utilization in energy
materials rebounded sharply, because coal production was no longer
affected by a rail strike as in September. Durable materials capacity
utilization was little changed, and the rate in the nondurable goods
materials sector was down slightly.
Increases in utilization rates since the beginning of the
year have been greater for durable than for nondurable industries.
Expansion in production of machinery and transportation equipment, and
related increases in metals, underlie much of this gain in utilization
of durable goods capacity.

MANUFACTURING

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

PER CENT
100

TOTAL

80

60
100
NONDURABLE GOODS

PRIMARY PROCESSING

80
ADVANCED PROCESSING

DURABLE GOODS

I
1966



1969

I

I

I
1972

I

I

60
1975

1978

I
1969

I

I

I
1972

I

I
1975

1978

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

19731

1975
LOU

1977
OCT.

NOV.

86.01
1
1

6.
96

8 .
2 9

82.9

9.|
36
1
8.|
54

68.1

8 .
4 7

8.
47

7.
04

81.8

81.9

HIGHl

1

1
MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

PRIMARY PROCESSING
ADVANCED PROCESSING

OUTPUT

1977
III

11

138.7

199 1 9 8
3.| 3 .

144
4.

147.51 167.1

173
*.

148.21 1 8 2
4 .

154.1

157.71 173.5

134.2

1977
111

1
1
1

1
ADVANCED PROCESSING

IIII

1

1 5 6 135.4
3 . |

139.3

1

142.11 1 3 6
6 .

I

FEB.

MAR.

APR.

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SEP.

OCT-

81.9

8 .
2 7

83.7

8.
39

8.
43

8.
47

8 .
5 0

85.1

85.3

8.
36

8 .
4 1

85.7

86.2

87.1

8.
73

87.5

8.
78

87.7

8.
08

8 .
2 0

82.7

82.5

82.8

8.
34

8.
36

83.5

8.
39

CAPACITY

1978
I

IV

1
1
PRIMARY PROCESSING

1
8 . | 81.7
30
1
1
84.51 8 .
38
1
82.21 8 . 5
0
1
1

1
MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

1978

DEC.I JAN.

1
1

1978
I

II

IIII

168.71 170.3

172.0

173.71

178.5

180.21

IV

1

83.0

1
1
8.
49

1

1
165.31 1 6 9
6.

1977
III

1

1
1
175.11 1 6 6
7 .

UTILIZATION

168.5

170.21

1

81.9

1

IV

1978
I

1
8.| 8 .
29
2 1
1
1
8.| 6.
46
38
1
82.01 81.1
1

II

jll

8.
4C

8.
4?

8.
63

87.5

62.7

63.5

Industrial Materials
SERIES

MATERIALS! TOTAL

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
BASIC METAL

NONDURABLE

MATERIALS

GOODS MATERIALS

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

NERGY MATERIALS

1973|
HIGHl
1
93.11
1
1
92.51
1
97.71
1
1
94.6|
1
94.51
1
94.4|
100.51
93.8|
1
1
94.61
1
1977
III

MATERIALS, TOTAL

138.1

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

136.0

BASIC METAL MATERIALS

109.4

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
T E X . , PAPER,

£ CHEM. M A T .

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

ENERGY MATERIALS

NOTE:

154.4
159.2
112.3
135.1
189.5

123.4

1975
1977
LOW OCT.
69.7

82.4

64.3

79.5

66.1

75.6

67.8

85.8

65.5

84.9

58.0
71.8
64.7

82.9
88.3
84.6

82.7

65.2

OUTPUT
1978
IV
I
1
138.91 139.2
1
1
137.7| 137.9
1
109.41 110.5
1
1
155.01 158,0
1
159.51 163.1
1
117.9J 115.3
132.31 136.5
168.91 194.9
1
1
121.9| 119.1
1

MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
1 1978
FEB.
MAR.
DEC.I JAN.
1
61.3
81.9
82.3
81.9|
61.9
1
1
78.7
79.4
79.4
80.11 79.6
1
76.1
75.7
75.7|
75.7
74.2
1
1
86.9
87.7
85.8|
85.3
86.1
1
85.3
86.5
84.3
84.01 84.5
1
80.7
80.1
82.4
82.01
80.1
89.0
89.5
86.7
85.21
88.1
85.7
87.4
84.31 84.8
84.4
1
1
80.0
79.7
81.4|
83.1
84.4
1
CAPACITY
1978
1 1977
IV
I
I
I
II
II
II
I
1
168.91 170.4
145.1 148.71 167.8
1
1
1
1
172.81 174.0
144.0
150.21 171.6
1
1
145.51 145.8
117.5
124.2! 145.3
1
1
1
1
180.4| 182.3
163.2
163.01 178.8
1
1
168.01 187.1 188.9| 190.8
167.7
1
1
143.01 143.5
117.1
116.81 142.5
139.7
135.01 151.3 152.51 153.6
201.4
223.61 226.6
203.81 221.2
1
1
1
1
145.71 147.2
125.5
127.51 145.2
1
1
NOV.

APR.

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SEP.

OCT.

86.0

86.3

86.4

86.0

84.0

84.5

85.1

85.7

81.6

82.1

82.8

84.5

85.3

65.9

80.0

80.4

80.8

83.1

85.3

85.9

88.2

88.6

88.7

87.5

67.1

87.5

87.2

86.5

86.9

87.0

86.5

85.3

86.2

85.8

81.0
90.2
87.2

81.0
90.5
87.7

81.7
90.2
87.8

81.1
86.9
87.8

80.1
84.4
87.1

81.0
86.7
86.9

84.0

84.7

86.1

86.3

86.1

85.4

I
I
171.7

175.2
146.1

184.4
193.1
144.1
154.8
230.1

147.8

1
1
II
II
1
173.01
1
1
176.31
1
146.51
1
1
186.51
1
195.41
1
144.71
155.81
233.51
1
1
148.4|
1

1977
II
I
82.3

79.2
75.3

86.3
85.1
78.8
89.3
85.7

85.0

UTILIZATION
1978
IV
I
1
81.7
82.21
1
1
79.71 79.3
1
75.21 75.8
1
1
85.91 86.7
1
84.51 85.5
1
82. 4 { 80.3
86.71 86.9
86.0
84.5)
1
1
80.9
83.7|
I

I
I

86.7

II
I

84.5

86.0

82.2

85.2

80.4

84.6

86.5

87.4

86.8

86.0

81.2
90.3
87.5

80.7
86.7
87.3

84.9

85.9

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 ( 1 ) THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUST R I A L PRODUCTION TO (2) THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF CAPACITY.
INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS ARE ITEMS BOTH PRODUCED AND USED AS INPUTS BY MANUFACTURING PLANTS, MIMES 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 1975 LOWS IN CAPACITY UTILIZATION, SHOWN IN THE TABLES ABOVE, ARE SPECIFIC TQ EACH SERIES AND MAY OCCUR IN
DIFFERENT MONTHS.
INDUSTRIAL PLANTS USUALLY OPERATE AT C A P A C I T Y 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. I*
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 C A P A C I T Y UTILIZATION ESTIMATES ARE DESCRIBED, AND HISTORICAL DATA ARE PROVIDED, IN FEDERAL RESERVE ffFA&UEES Q£ CAPACITY
AttJ2 CAPACITY UTILIZATION.
THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM PUBLICATION SERVICES, BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL Hi*
SERVE SYSTEM, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20551. THE PRICE IS SI.75 PER COPY; FOR TEN OR MORE* $1.50 EACH.