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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
G.3 (402)

For Immediate release

CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Industrial Materials

November 18, 1985

Capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and utilities
declined 0.2 percentage point in October to 80.2 percent; this was about a
percentage point below its level a year ago. Utilization in mining industries
declined sharply in October by 1.1 percentage points while the operating
rates for utilities and manufacturing were down 0.3 percentage point and 0.2
percentage point, respectively. Mining utilization has fallen 3.1 percentage
points in the last four months, reflecting declines in oil and gas extraction
as well as coal and metal mining.
The decrease in manufacturing utilization in October primarily
reflected a decline in durable manufacturing of 0.3 percentage point. The
motor vehicles and parts industry had the greatest fall in operating rate,
4.1 percentage points, due mainly to a strike. The remainder of the durable
goods industries had much smaller changes. The largest of those were a 0.6
percentage point decrease in instruments and a 0.6 percentage point increase
in aerospace and miscellaneous transportation industries. Utilization in
total nondurable manufacturing declined 0.1 percentage point in October
despite a 0.8 percentage point rise in the petroleum products operating rate.
Capacity utilization in total industrial materials declined 0.3
percentage point in October to 79.0 percent. It has declined 2.3 percentage
points since a year earlier. Operating rates for durable goods materials and
energy materials both decreased in October, but there was no utilization rate
change for nondurable goods materials.

Capacity Utilization: Summary
Percent of capacity, seasonally adjusted
Series
T@fal Smlystry

i

1973
High

1975
I.O¥

1978
-80
Hxgh

1982
Low

1967
-84
Avg.

1985
JUL

! &0G

I SE?

I OCT

88.6

72-1

86«9

69»5

81.7

80.2

80,6

80.4

80.2

Manufacturing
Durable
Nondurable

87»7
87»4
88.8

69.9
67.9
7U8

86.5
86.3
87»0

68.0
63.7
74.4

80.7
78.8
83.5

80*1
78.0
83-3

80.6
78.6
83»7

80.3
78.0
83«7

80* 1
77-7
83.6

Mining
Utilities

92.8
95.6

87.8
82*9

95.2

aa»5

76-9
78.0

88.D
88.1

81.2
61-9

81.1
81.4

dO.7
82.7

79«6
82«4

92»0

70.5

89.1

68.4

82»7

79.5

79.7

79«3

79.0

BmiysfrSaS figtsHiils




CAPACITY UTILIZATION

OCTOBER DATA

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED, PERCENT

110
TOTAL INDUSTRY
TOTAL MATERIALS
90

70

50
110
MINING
UTILITIES

90

y-%
MANUFACTURING %

V

70

50
110
MANUFACTURING

REFINED PETROLEUM
PRODUCTS
90

70

50
110
MOTOR VEHICLES
AND PARTS
90

70

50

30
1970

1973




1976

1979

1982

1985

1970

1973

1976

1979

1982

1985

MANUFACTURING, MINING AND UTILITIES
Table 1

Capacity Utilization

Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent of capacity
1973 l 1975 1 1978 | 1982 | 1967 1 Year 1
Series
Hiyh 1 Low
| -80
1 Low 1 - 8 4
J ago
1 .1985
J Avq. I month 1 FEE I HAR
1
1 High i

I
Total Industry

38.6)

72.1|

Manufacturing

87.7J

69.91
1
68.31
71.11

I

i

Primary processing
Advanced processing

91.91
36.0|

1
69.51

1
81.7J

Nondurable manufacturing
Food and kindred products
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products
Other nondurables
Mining
Utilities
Electric utilities

t

APR

tf A¥ 1 JJN 1 JUL 1 AUG

1

1

80.71
I

81. 1|

89.11

65.11
b9.5l

8.1.0

80.8

80. b

80.5

80.2

80. 6

80.4

80. 2

8U.4

80.5

80.5

80.3

80. 1

»0. 1

80. 6

80.3

80« 1

81.5
79.8

81.8
79.8

82.1
79. 7

81.5

82.0
7 9.3

82.3
79. 1

32-3
79. 6

82.6
79.2

82. 7
78. 9

78. t
>
81.7
59.0

78.0
81.4
b4.9
80.2
30.6
74. b
73.9
62.2
79.2
84.2
83-5
83-2

78. b
81. 0
73. 9
69. 0
81. 8
30. 9
75.8
71. 6
8b. 3
82. 0
86. 1
83-5
83.4

73.0
80.9
73.3
68.2
81.5
30.6
75.2
70.8
84.7
79.6
86. 8
82.4
83.2

77. 7

a 2.1
79.1

78-0
30.6
71.5
6b. 1
80.2
80.5
75.2
71.9

83. b

78.8

83. 7
80.3
85.2
92-3
•7.8.8

1

8o.5{

67.41 67.91 86.31
89.3J 67.11 36.6J
101.91 67.01 97.14
105.81 66.61 100.31
9 5.61 62.11 91.11
35.01 64.71 37.4J
39.01 63.21 80.01
89.91
85.71 63.7|
97.11 52.71 93.31
J
1 93.31
77-01 69.61 87-11
89.21 74.91 88.91
81.0J
87. 71 69.0]

1
1

81. 7 |
30.21

80.7J

1

63..7J

79-8

1

79.5|
78.7
80.71 78. 1
72.4J
72. 1
66. 7 1 65.4
81.71 8 3 . 1
78.8J 30.8
77.81 75- 5
81.0|
76.8
79-3|
85-0
70.4|
83.7
78.3J 80.8
84.6|
83.5
83.81 82.3

78.9
78.6
73.7
69.9
7.9. 8
81.6
7b. Q
76.4
83.8
83.8
82.2
83.4
82.2

78-9

45.81
37.61
60.81
61.31
62.91
66.91
47.01
36.61
70.7J
77.81
69. 11

78.81
77.6|
80-5|
80.11
81.31
77.7J
78.71
78.51
77.61
1
76.21
83.41
81.7J

37.01
85. 11
33.31
92.71
82.91
91-71
89. 41
92. 41

74.4J
76.51
70.6)
80.81
67.61
69.71
71.2|
78.9|

83.51
82.5|
84.51
88.21
78.71
87.91
84.5J
86.01

33.4|
80.3|
82.21
92.91
77.51
82.01
89.41
87.71

83.0
79.6
80.5
91.3
78.4
81.5
87-9
87.4

82.9
78.8
81. 1
91.5
78.7
32.4
86.5
87.6

83.0
80.0
80.8
90. 1
78.0
85.1
86.6
87-4

83.0
80.1

1 87.81 95.21
92.81
1 83.51
95.61
98.71 82.91 87.61
83.01

76.91

88.01

1 82.1
30.61

82.8

1
78.01
78.21
1

88.11
89.0|
1

82.41
82.51
1

86.7
85.4

85.0
83.4

1

88.81
85.81
92.11
95.61
88.61
99.6J
97.5J
36.41

1

71.81
77.6|
58.91
67.71
69.21
83»7J
59.5|
72.31

1

SEP 1 OCT

30.9

bb.01

1
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

|

1

1

b2.9)

80. b

73.4
63.3
80.7
82.0
76.9
74.2
83.2
82.8
82.4
82-3
83. 2

8 1. J

76.7
74.1
62. b
30.5
82-9
83.3
33. J

70.8

63. b
82.2
85.0
33.4
83.2

73. 7

80. 5

75.0
71. 0

80.6
74. 0

87.4
81. 8
3

83.

33.3
80.2
84.7
92.4
78. 0
8b-7
86.0
86. 3

83. 7
80. 1
8b. 4
91. 6

85.4
85.9
87-6

83.4
80.2
34.2
91.2
78.2
85.3
8b. 3
87-7

8
87. 0
87. 3

86.2
87.3
87.2

86.8

82-1

82.2

82.7

31.2

81-1

80.7

79. b

84.6
82.9

84.5
82.9

84.1
32.6

81.9
81.0

81- 4

82.7
31.8

82* 4
81. 3

81.5
89.2
78.5

8b.

80.2

8 7-0

Table 2

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

Total Industry

OUTPUT
1
1985
1
Q2
Q3
1
y1
I
1
123.4 123.11123.8 124.2 124.71

1984
Q3

Q4

i

i

1

CAPACITY

1984
U3

150.6
153.9

1 2 5 . 6 125.81126.0 126.6 127..71
i
I
107.6 107.01107.5 108.1 109.4|
136. 3 -137.01.137.1 137.9 138.71
i
I
1 2 7 . 1 127-31127.7 127.9 123.61
113.4 112.91111.5 115.6 115.71
82-5
80.2} 31.2
78.7
80.51
72.4
70.4J 70.9
68.3
70.3|
101-7 98.8J100.7
99.7J
98.3
104.2 105.41107.5 108.3 107.51
146.8 145.61145.5 147.9 148.51
176.1 179.21174.1 169-2 165.31
106.1 106.71112.3 110.6 114.91
100.7 101.91115.9 112.5 114.62
126.8 127.91131.8 135.4 140.11
; 139.8 138.71 138.8 139.7 141. 11
12.1.1 121.21120.5 122.7 123.71
•
•
123.4 123.5$123.6 124.9 1 2 b . 4 }
127.9 128.91128.7 131.3 132.61
103.3 97.4J 97.2 100.8 105.0J
128.4 128.0|327.2 125-4 123.81
123.0 123.71126.0 126.3 127.51
86.8 85.41 84.3 87.2 88.01
144.9 146.41145.3 144.9 147.61
126.0 126.51126.3 127.6 128.1J

123.1
132.8
186.8
217.2
129.1
133-2
162.4
162.6
144.0

Mining

113.8 108.31 110.1 110.0 103.51
109-8 111.1J114.2 113.6 111.01
916.3 117.7J120-1 119.3 117.91
1

•1.

03

1
1
155.11

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

1

•

i

131.2
167.6

a

153.3
139.9
113.1
10 7-7

163.1
142.3
110.3
104.3

1985
02

03

81.9

30.7

80.4

158.91

31.6

81.O|

80.5

80.3

80.3

132.4J
174-9|
•

82.0
81.3

31.51 81.6
80.81 80.0

81.9
79.6

32.6
79-3

164.51
143.21
110.4J
103.81
122.9J
133.3J
196.91
231.5J
135.4J
141.01
162.9J
1b9.3l
148-5}

30.0
81.0
73.0
67.2
82- b

79.4| 79-0
80.31 78.8
71.71 7 3 . 1

78.5
81.2
71.0
65.5
80.0

78-2
80-8
.72.9
67.8
81.1

81-3
76.1
74-1
82.7

80.7
75.4
71.4

80.3
83.2
83-2
83.3

81-2
86.0
83-. 1
83.3

83.1
80.1
82.1
90.2
78.2
85.2
86.3
87-6

83-5
30-2
85.5
92.1
78.5
86.5
86-8
87-1

Q4

1

36.0
84-0

to 6 - 4 J 67.6
30- 3| 81-9
79.3| 80.8
75.9
76.9|
30.8] 77-2
81.71 84.9
75.31 84.4
78.71 81.1
84.41 83.6
83.5J 82.4

151.21
165.3J
122.91
139.9|
162.41
101.61
170.0|
147-01

83.9
80.1
84.7
93.8
77.5
82. 9
89.3
88.9

83.41
80.01
79-71
93.0J
77.51
82.31
89.31
88.41

133.11 133.4 133-6 133.91
I
1
132.6 133.01133.7 134.5 135.41
141.0 141.7J142.8 144.2 145.51

85-b

81.31 82-6
•

82.3

81.0

32.8
82.5

83.51 85-5
33.01 84.1

84.4
82.3

82.0

122-S*

133-2
194.3
228-5
133.9
139.2
162.8
167.9
147.4

147-1
159.8
122.0
136.9
158.8
104.6
162.2
141.7

148.1J149.2
161-21 162.6
122.21 122.4
137.61 138.4
159,7!160.6
103.81103.0
163.9J165-8
143- 11 144-5

78.4
78.6
81.0
82.2

75.7
78.1

•

i

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




160.3J161-7
140.6J 141.4
111.91111.1
106.0| 104.3
123.0J123-0
132.91 133-1
189.31191.8
221.71225.5
130.71132-3
135.31 137.3
162.51162.6
164.31 166.0
145.1J 146.2

UTILIZATION
1934
03

Q1
1
81.21 8 1 . 0

132.9

Utilities
Electric utilities

1985
02
Q1
I
151.71152.8 154.0
I
155.2.1 156.5 15.7.7
1
131.41 131.6 132.0
169.61 171.4 173.2

Q4

150.2
164.0
122.7
139. 1
161.5
102.3
167.9
145.8

4-

1

1

82.9
79.2
79.4
91-9
78.5
81.8
87.6
87.4

84-9

81.6

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

Materials Industrial

Durable goods materials
Metal materials
Raw steel
Aluminum

1973
High
1
92-0J
i
1
I
99.21
1
106.0|
95.7J
1
1

Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper, and chemical materials
Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials

Energy materials

I
92-81
I
98.4J
92.5]
1
I
94.6]

1975 I 1978 I 1962 I 1967 j
Low i -ao i Low 1 - 8 4 1
L
1
1
82.7|
70-51 89. 1] 68.4]
1
J
1
1
1
1
1
89-81 60.91 79-51
64-4]
I
1
I
I
45.71 78.91
67.11 93.6]
1
I
1
I
98.9] 3t>. 1J 8 1 . 9 |
66-41 97.4] 58.81 88.9J
73.0|
1
I
i
]
i
I
l
66. 7| 88.11 70.61 83.31
I
1
1
I
68.6|
89.4]
64-8|
1
1 83-7]
1
J
97.31 79.9|
70.6J 87-9| 03.31 9U31
64.41
80.9J
1
1
i
1
1
I
I
94.0] 82.2]
1
86.91
i 69.91

Year |
ago ]_
aonth]
1
81.3]
I
1
80.3|
I
68.11
1
63-4|
81.2J
I
I
81-41
1
82.0]
93.7]
78.6J

JUK 1

1M-L
81.5

81.4

80.9

80.1

7 9 . 1 78.9 7 8 . 3 7t>.t>

80-1

1 S E P 1 OCT

G

79.5

79.7

79.3 79.0

7 6 . 5 7i>. 8

76-4

75.5" 75.3

6 8 . 2 6 9 . d 69-9 o6.-£ 6 9 . 0

66-4 69-0

67.7

67.4
70-5

67.6
70.3

67-2 68.2 68.4 67-9 t>7-4 t>7-2
76.6 74.2 73.o 72.9 72.0 71.0

68.5

81*1 80.2 80-2 &Q-8 81.0 81.7

81-7

81.8 81.d

82-0

81.4

80-9

81.4 82.7

82^3

82.6 82-7

92.6
80.2

92-1 89.1 88.8
79.5 79.2 79.b

90-i> 91.7
79.2 80.1

90.6
79.5

90.3
80.1

87.4

88-4 87. t 8 7-:>
>

87.3

85-2 85-4 84.6

80.7

J

83-5|

85.8

Table 4

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

Materials Industrial

Durable goods materials
Metal materials
Raw steel
Aluminum

Nondurable goods materials
Textile, paper and chemical materials

OUTPUT
1
1985
1
Q3
|
01
1
1
116.0 114.5J115.4 114.5 114. 0]
1
1
1
1
124.0 123.7]123.6 121-4 120-7|
82.0 80.4] 80.6 80.2 7 9 . i
4]
70.7 64.11 70.4 71.2 70.7|
99.1 95.9] 90.9 86.4 83.5|
1
J
1
111.6 110.91110.9 111.2 113.

1984
03

04

°l

112-2 110.7]111.6 111.0 113. 1
i

Pulp and paper materials
Chemical materials

Energy materials

127.7 126.21126.3 121.8 123.91
110-2 110-91113.2 112.6 113.9]
1
1
1
1
105-7 101.31105.0 105.2 103..11
1
{

CAPACITY
J
1985
I
Q1
Q2
Q3
1
1
I
139.8 14O.7| 141.6 142.5 143-4]
1
I
1
1
153-1 154-41 155-9 157.4 158.9]

1984

•

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. 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.

UTILIZATION
1985
Q1
Q2
1
81.4] 81.5 80.4
I
I
80.11 79.3 77.1

g4
83.0
81.0

118.8 117.8] 117.3 117.3 117.3] 69.0
1
107.6 105.8]104.9 104.9 104.8] 65.7
119.3 119.0] 118.8 118.6 118-3] .83.0
1
i
136.3 136.8] 137.3 137.8 138.2] 81.9
1
135-7 136.2] 136.7 137.0 137.4] 82.7
i
•
133.7 135-31136.1 136.2 136.3) 95.5
140.8 141. 1J 141.5 142.0 142.6] 78.3
1
1
1
88.6
119.3 119.71120.0 120.3 120.6]

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.




1984

04

Q3
79. 5

75. 9

i

68.2] 68.7

68.4

67. 7

67.9
72.9

67.4
70.6

1

60.6]
80.6]
1
1
81.0]
I
81.3|

67.1
76.5
80.7

80.7

81. 7

81.7

81-0

82.5

93.3] 92.8
78.61 80.0
1

89.4
79.3

90, 9

87.5

85. 5

i

J

84.6] 87-5

9

Perspective. The historical highs and lows in capacity utilization shown in the tables above are
specific to each series and did not ail 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 "Revised Federal
Reserve Rates of Capacity Utilization", Federal Reserve Bulletin, October 1985. Revised data
from 1948-84 are included in the statistical supplement to the July 1985 capacity utilization
release, which 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 1985. Approximately 11 a.m. on January 16, February 19, March 18,
April 17, May 16, June 17, July 19, August 16, September 16, October 16, November 18, and
December 16.