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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
For Immediate release
G.3 (402)

November 17, 1986

CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Industrial Materials

Capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and utilities
declined to 79.0 percent in October from the 79.2 percent level that prevailed
in the three preceding months• On balance , the rate has changed little since
the spring, and in October it was about 2-1/2 percentage points below its
peak level for the current expansion reached in the summer of 1984* Although
capacity growth has slowed from an annual rate of 2-3/4 percent in the second
half of 1984 to about 2 percent this year, production has been more sluggish,
increasing at an annual rate of 1 percent since the summer of 1984.
Utilization in October reflected declines of 0.2 percentage point
in the utilization rates for manufacturing and mining and an increase for
utilities. Within manufacturing, production of automobiles and trucks
dropped, thereby reducing the utilization rate for motor vehicles and parts
to 76.8 percent in October from 80.6 percent in September. Utilization rates
also fell for instruments and petroleum products. Most other changes were
small, except for an increase of 0.9 percentage point, to 67.6 percent, in the
rate for primary metals•
The operating rate in mining declined to 72.5 percent in October,
another record low for this series, which begins in 1967. Further declines
in extraction of coal and crude oil more than offset a slight gain in oil and
gas well drilling in October. Drilling activity, which in the last three
months has stabilized after a long string of sharp drops earlier in the year,
remained at less than half its level in 1985.
The operating rate for producers of industrial materials fell 0.2
percentage point to 77.9 percent in October. The rate for durable goods
materials was unchanged while the rates for nondurable and energy materials
declined somewhat.

Pmcmt of capacity, seasonally adjusted

HT973
Series

?@t®8 Industry
Manufacturing
Durable
Nondurable
Mining
Utilities

Industrial Materials



1975

~YSfB2
-80

rixqh

Lou

-85

1986
J&L

Hxgk

| OCT

88.6

72.1

86.9

•69.

5

81.7

79.2

79. 2

79.2

79.0

87.7
bb.8

69.9
67.9
71.8

86.3
87.0

t>8. 0
bi. 7
74, 4

80.6
78.7
83.5

79.7
76.3
84*8

79» 8
76. 2
85. 1

79.6
76.2
84.8

79.4
75.9
84.7

95l6

. 87.8
82.9

E:i

76. 9
78. 0

87.7
87.9

73.5
79.9

73. 4
78. 3

72.7
80.7

72.5
81.3

92.0

70.5

89.1

4

82.5

78.3

78. 0

78.1

77.9

CAPACITY UTILIZATION

OCTOBER DATA

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED, PERCENT

110
TOTAL INDUSTRY
TOTAL MATERIALS

90

70

50
110
MINING
UTILITIES

90

V

\
\/

MANUFACTURING

\ /

70

50
110
MANUFACTURING
ELECTRICAL
MACHINERY
NONDURABLE

90

70

50
110
MOTOR VEHICLES
AND PARTS

1971

1974




1977

1980

1983

1974

1977

1980

1983

MANUFACTURING, MINING AND UTILITIES
Table 1

Capacity Utilization
Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent of capacity
1973 i 1975 J 1978 1 1982 1 1967 1 1985 1
Series
H i g h 1 Low
1 -80 J Low 1 - 8 5 1 OCT 1
|
4
{ Hiah 1
j Ava. 1

1
8 8 . 61

Total industry
Manufacturing
Primary processing
Advanced processing
Durable manufacturing
Stone, clay and glass products
' Primary metals
tron 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

1
7 2 . 11

1
86.91

69.

87. 1
7|
i
91.
8 6 . 9!
0*

69.9J

I

87.
89.
101.
105.

t

41
31
91
61

95.6i
85.0|
89. 0|
8 5 . 71

97. 1 |
j
7 7 . 01
8 9 . 21

87.7|

68.

89.11
85.14

65.
69.

i

86.31
86.61
97.11
100.31
91.11
87.41
86.01
89.91
93.31
93.31
87.11
88.91
81.01

i

67.
67.
67.
66.
62.
64.
68.
63.
52.

u
i

91

U

01
61

U
7|
21
71

71
I
6 9 . 61
7 4 . 94
69. 0|

I

Nondurable manufacturing
Food and kindred products
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products
Other nonduf&bles

86.51

6 8 . 31
71.

8 8 . 81
8 5 . 81
9 2 . 11

I

7 1 . 81
77. 6 j
5 8 . 91

95.6i

67.71

8 8 . 61
9 7 . 51
8 6 . 41

69.
83.
59.
72.

Mining

92.81

87.

Utilities
Electric utilities

95. 6|
9 8 . 71

99.6J

1

1

21
71
5J

3i
4
81
1
82. 91
8 3 . 04

I
51
1
01
1
11
51
i

63-71
62.
4 5 . 8J

37.61
60.
61.
62.
66.
47.
36.
70.
77.
69.

81
31
91

94
01
61
74
81
14
4

87.01 7 4 . 44
85.14 7 6 . 54
88.31 7 0 . 6 |
92. 7 J 8 0 . 81
82.91 6 7 . 61
91.71 69.71
89.41 7 1 . 21
92.41 7 6 . 91
1
9o.2l 7 6 . 91
1
4
88.5J 7 8 . 04
87.61 7 8 . 21
1
|

1986

JUH 1 JUL 1

FEE 1 MAfi 1 APB 1

1
81.74

1
79.71

80.2

79.0

79.5

79.1

80.61

79.41

79.0

AUG S

SSP 1 OCT

79.2

79.2

79.2

79.0

80.2

79.1

79.9

79.4

79.3

79.7

79.8

79.6

79.4

81.71 82.8J
80.11 77.91
1
1
78.71 77.21
77.81 80.81
80.11 74.0J
79.41 69.71
81.31 80.81
77.91 80.91
78.51 72.61
7 8 . 3 | 72.01
77.91 81.61
4 76. 11
76.41 84.71
83. 4 J 81.01
81.7J 82.01

83.6
78.6

82.4
77.4

83.2
78.5

82.9
78.0

82.7
77.7

62.9
78.4

83.3
78.0

83.3
77.8

83.6
77.5

77.7
82.3
72.9
67.5
81.4
81.2
72.9
71.4
84.3
85.1
86.2
81.9
83.1

76.5
82.6
69.3
62.6
79.7
80.6
71.7
71.4
78.2
74.6
86.0
81.7
82.7

77.1
83.6
71.0
64.0
81.9
81.0
71.0
72.0
81.3
80.3
87.3
81.7
83.2

76.3
82.4
68.1
58.9
82.5
79.7
71.1
71.5
78.4
75.6
67.3
80.2
83.5

75.7
82.^
65. '
57.1
77.«
79.*
70.:
79."
79.3
87.0
79.7
62.9

76.3
81.7
67.2
60.7
77.2
79.1
71.4
71.5
80.0
76.1
87. 1
80.5
83.0

76.2
81.5
67.2
59.9
78.3
79.1
71.4
71.5
77.7
70.2
88.7
80.4
83.2

76.2 75.9
82.6
66.7 67.6
58.5
79.2
79.2 79.2
70.4 70.6
71.2 ) 71.3
80.6 76.8
77.0 73.7
89.0 89.4
79.3 78.4
83. 1 83.3

83.51
82.31
84.54
68.4J
78.61
87.71
84.6}
86.01

82.7J
77.81
87.51
91.01
78.01
85.94
86.91
86.61

83.9
79.1
89.1
93.8
80.4
88.3
86.7
86.1

83.0
78.5
87.4
93.4
79.1
86.9
84.4
86.0

84.1
78.8
90.2
94.4
80.5
89.6
83.5
87.5

84.1
78.9
90.1
93.6
79.6
93.9
85.0
87.2

84.7
79.3
91.1
96.2
81.1
90.1
85.9
87.3

84.8
78.9
91.6
96.6
80.9
89.0
87.4
87.9

85.1
79.3
92.2
97.0
81.0
92.9
87.3
87.4

84.8
76.8
93.8
95.8
81.0
91.7
87.2
87.0

87.71

80.7j

79.4

77.9

76.4

75.5

74.9

73.5

73.4

72.7

72.5

87.91
88.71
1

82. 6j
82.01
1

80.4
81.3

80.1
81.2

80.0
82.3

79.3
82.2

79.2
83.0

79.9
84.3

78.8
82.1

80.7
84.3

61.3
84.9

70.

84.7

90.9
87.0

Table 2

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

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 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

OUTPUT
1
1986
4
Q2
Q4
Q1
Q3
1
1
1 2 4 . 0 124.71125.0 124.4 125.1J
1
126.8 127.41128.4 128.4 129.4J

1985
Q3

109.2 110.31111.5 111.1
137. 4 137.64138. 5 138.9
1
127.5 127.91128.3 127.1
116.6 117.01119.8 120.8
80.5 82.21 79.7 74.6
70.1 72.61 68.7 61.4
100.2 100.3|lu0.5 100.0
106.8 107.91108.4 107. 1
145.0 144.31143.5 140.9
165.3 166.61165.4 165.3
113.7 111.81113.7 110.6
114. 5 108.44116.6 112.2
137.1 140.61143.0 144.8
140.1 139.61141.8 140.9
123.7 123.61126.0 127.2
1
125.9 126.81128.6 130.2
131.4 131.01132.3 133.6
105.1 108.51108.6 111.6
127.7 129.31132.8 134.8
128. 1 127.91131.3 132.8
87.2 88.21 91.1 93.0
148.2 149.51149.7 149.7
127.4 129.41129.9 131.8

112.01
139.94
t

Q3

154.4
158.4
132.7
173.9

164.51165.5
144. 11 144.9
110.6J110.2
103.74103.0
123.8(123.9
133.41133.5
195.7| 197.2
228.9|230.7
137.01 138.1
142.91143.6
164.71 165.4
171.51173.2
150.6J151.7

166.4
145.8
109.8
102.2
124.1
133.6
198.7
232.2
138.6
143. 1
166.1
174.9
152.8

132.11
134.81
114.61
138.24
134.41
92.81
156.01
133.01

151.3
165.3
122.9
139.8
162.5
102.6
170.0
147.1

152.41153.5
166.7J 168.1
123.21123.4
140.61141.4
163.41164.3
102.34 102.0
172.11174.3
148.4J149.6

154.5
169.4
123.6
142.3
165.2
101.9
176.5
150.9

96.61

Utilities
Electric utilities

111.1 112.61110.5 108.9 109.71
118.6 120.61119.6 122.2 124.61

1
4
Q3
1
4
157.91

Q3

80.3

i

162.4(
1
134.61
179.11
167.31
146.61
109.44
101.54
124.21
133.71
2U0.21
233.71
139.21
142.71
166.91
176.64
153.91
1
155.61
170.71
123.84
143.24
166.01
101.81
178.74
152.14

132.4 132.51132.4 132.1 131.91
•
i
135.0 135.7|136.3 136.9 137.5|
144.9 146.01147.1 148.1 149.01

Note. 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

UTILIZATION
1986

1985

80.1
82.3
79.0

i

163.4
143.2
111.0
104.3
123.7
133.3
194.2
226.6
135.4
141.0
164.1
169.7
149.3

107.9 107.11105.4




CAPACITY
1986
Q2
Q4
Q1
4
155.41156.3 157.1
1
1 5 9 . 5 } 1 6 0 . 5 161.4
1
133.11 133.6 134.0
175.3J176.7 177.9

127.51
120.21
73.34
60.61
97.2J
105.81
142.31
166.98
110.61
106.21
147.3|
141.51
127.91

Mining

99.9

1985

78.0
81.5
72.5
67.3
81.0
80. 1
74.6
72.9
84.0
81.2
83.5
82.6
82.9
83.2
79.5
85.5
91.4
78.6
85.0
87.1
86.6
81.5
82.3
81.8

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

80.0

79.2

79.2

80.0

79.5

79.7

83.5
78.4

82.9
78.0

83.2
78.1

77.5
62.6
72.3
66.7
81.1
61.2
72.8
71.7
62.3
81.2
86.5
81.9
83.1

76.4
82.9
68.1
60.0
80.6
80.1
70.9
71.2
79.8
78.4
87.2
80.5
83.2

76.2
82.0
67.0
59.7
78.3
79.1
71.1
71.4
79.4
74.5
88.3
80.1
83.1

83.8
78.7
88.0
93.9
79.9
89.3
85.9
86.8

84.3
79.0
90.4
94.7
80.4
91.2
84.8
87.3

84.9
79.0
92.6
96.5
80.9
91.2
87.3
87.4

80.94 79.6
1
83.2| 61.1
82.6| 81.3

75.6

73.2

79.5
82.5

79.8
83.6

4
60.21
1
79.91
1
82.8J
78.64
1
77.71
81.21
74.3 4
70.04
81.01
60.94
73.7j
72.84
81.64
75.94
65.34
81.41
82.14
1
83.21
78.64
86.14
92.0 4
78.24
66.24
86.84
87.24
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
'
Series

Industrial Materials
Durable goods materials
Metal materials

Hxgh

I
I
91.3J
I
106
95

Raw steel
Aluminum
Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper, and chemical materials
Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials

94

Energy materials

1978
-8ti
High

T9T3T
Lov 1

Lov

1
70.51 89.11
I
1
1
1
64.41 89.81
I
4
6 7.11 93.01
4
1
66.41 98.91
73.0} 97.41
4
i
1
1
66.71 8b.11
4
1
64.81 89.41
1
»
70.61 97.31
64.41 87.91
4
1
4
1
86.91 94.01

L

~T985OCT
1
1 -85
4 Avg. 1
J
i
68.41 82.51 79.11
J
J
i
1
1
1
60.91 79.31 75.71
I
4
J
45.71 78.41 70.41
I
1
i 69.31
36.1|
58.81 81.11 70.41
I
1 88.11
I
J
1
1 82.1|
70.61
J
83.2)
1
1 82.51
68.61
1
83.61
1
1 89.4)
79.91
79.31
63.31 91.41
I
I 80.81
1
J 84.01
1
1
82.21
L
89.71

"T5HTT

L

L

198JL.
BAR |
FSB

APS 1 HAY < JOfl | JUL j AUG | S £ P | OCT

79.6

78.5

78.7

78.1

78.0

78.3

78.0

78.1

77.9

75.9

74.5

74.9

73.7

73.2

73.7

73.5

73.3

73.3

69.0

66.0

68.3

65.2

63.2

63.8

63.8

63.8

64.8

70.2
69.8

67.7
71.3

68.8
72.1

64.9
72.4

63.2
64.7

63.5
61.4

58.9
62.6

57.6
62.4

83.5

82.5

83.6

83.5

84.3

85.0

85.4

85.9

85.7

84.2

83.4

83.6

84.2

85.1

85.6

86.4

86.9

86.8

93.8
80.2

93.0
79.4

93.6
79.4

93.1
80.2

95.9
80.4

97.8
80.2

97.6
81.1

96.4
81.9

84.3

83.7

82.8

82.9

83*1

82.3

81.0

81.4

81.1

L

Table 4

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

Industrial Materials

Durable goods materials
Metal materials
Raw steel
Aluminum
Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper and chemical materials
Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials
Energy materials

1985
Q3

OUTPUT

1986

Q3

1985
Q3

1986
01
Q2

113.8 114.31114.5 113.3 113.41 142.8 143.6|144.2
1
4
i
«
i
U0.4 121.11120.9 118.8 118.71 157.8 159.01159.9
4
4
i
82.61 79-0 75.1 72.71
79.6
115.9 115.51115.0
i
4
1
71.8 68.61 71.4 66.2
84.2 78.61 79.1 77.7 60.01 103.3 102.71101.8
68.11 115.8 114.7(113.2
i
1
1
1
4
4 138.1
113.4
116.9
138.61139.0
113.91115.7
119.5J
1
4
4 137.5 138.01138.4
113.3 114.01116.2 117.0
1
120.11
123.8 124.81128.8 130.1
135.8 136.51137.3
4
113.6 113.41115.3 115.4 135.11 143.1 143.6|144.0
1
4
117.31
4
4
4 120.6 120.91121.1
102.5 102.6i102.2 100.6
4
i
_J
99.01

Explanatory Notes
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 the 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.




Q4

UTILIZATION
1985

144.7 145.31 79.7
1
J
160.7 161.51 76.3
1
68.7
114.5 114.01
I 69.5
100.9 99.91 72.7
111.4 109.7|
1
1
139.5 139.91 82.1
1
138.8 139.21 82.4
J
138.1 138.9J 91.1
144.3 144.71 79.4
1
I
121.3 121.41 85.0
I

1986
Q1

Q4

79.6|
4
I
76.21
4
71.51
4
66.3)
68.51
4
4
82.21
I
82.7|

Q2

Q3

79.4

78.3

78.1

75.6

73.9

73.5

68.7

65.6

63.8

70.1
69.9

65.6
69.7

60.0
62.1

83.2

83.8

85.4

83.9

84.3

86.3

4 93.8
91.41 80.1
79.01
4
4 84.4
84.91

94.2
80.0

97.2
81.1

82.9

81.6

I

Perspective. The historical highs and lows in capacity utilization shown in the tables above are
specific to each series and did not all 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 Richard D. Raddock, "Revised Federal Reserve Rates of Capacity Utilization," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Vol.
71 (October 1985), pp. 754-66. Revised data for 1984-85 as well as historical utilization rates
since 1967 (1948 in the case of manufacturing) are included in the statistical supplement to the
September 1986 capacity utilization release. Copies 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.