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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
For immediate release
October 17, 1979

G.3 ( 0 )
42

CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
September 1979

Manufacturers operated at 85.1 percent of capacity in September, up
0.3 percentage point from the August rate while producers of industrial materials
operated at 86.7 percent of capacity, slightly below the August rate.
The September increase in manufacturing capacity utilization was
concentrated in advanced processing industries, mainly reflecting a rebound
in motor vehicle production. Capacity utilization in primary processing
industries edged down. In the third quarter, capacity utilization in manufacturing was 85.3 percent, below the second quarter and 1.4 percentage points
below the first quarter high. The September rate was 2.0 percentage points
below the rate reached six months earlier.
Production of industrial materials, at 86.7 percent of capacity
in September, was 0.1 percentage point below the rate in August. The SeptemberAugust rate was down nearly a percentage point from the level prevailing in
the preceding three months. The rate in September was 2.1 percentage points
below the rate reached at the end of 1978. The utilization rate for materials
in the third quarter, at 87.0 percent, was slightly below the rate in the
second quarter and 1.2 percentage points below the recent high in the fourth
quarter of 1978. Compared to late 1978 levels, the capacity utilization rate
for metal materials, especially steel, has declined substantially. Over the
same period, the utilization rate for nondurable goods materials has changed
little even though the rate for the paper materials component has increased
to over 95 percent. The utilization rate for producers of energy materials
has changed little dince the beginning of this year but the level has been
slightly below the rate at the end of 1978.

MANUFACTURING

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS

PER CEHT
100

TOTAL

80

60

I

100

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

NONDURABLE GOODS

PftMARY PROCESSING

80

ADVANCED PROCESSES

DURABLE 0000$

i r i i i i i i i i -i i i


1067


1970

1073

1076

I
1070

I

1070

I

I

I

1073

1076

1070

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, TOTAL
PRIMARY PROCESSING
ADVANCED PROCESSING
J

19731
HIGHI
1
88.01
1
1
93.81
1
85.51
1

1976
SEP.

PCT.

69.0

85.5

86.0

68.2

88.4

88.9

69.4

84.0

84.3

1975

LOU

OUTPUT
1976

1979

II
I

MANUFACTURING, TOTAL

148.6

PRIMARY PROCESSING

158.2

ADVANCED PROCESSING

143.6

IV

I
1
151.71 153.4
1
1
162.21 162.1
1
146.11 148.7
1

11
153.1
161.9
148.5

NOV.
86.3

1979
JAN.
PFB.

OFt.
66.8

86.4

MAR.

90.11 89.0
88.6
1
84.5
65.01 85.0
85.5
1
1
CAPACITY
I
1978
1979
11
11
HI
IV
1
i
1
153.21 174.5 175.61 176.9
1
1
1
1
163.21 179.9
181.21 182.7
1
1
147.91 171.6
172.71 173.8
I
j
89.5

APR.

MAY

I*MNE

^yi Y

AUG.

*PP.

87.1

86.7

85.3

66.3

86.2

66.0

84.8

85.1

88.6

67.8

88.0

87.9

86.8

87.5

87.3

86.2

63.8

85.2

64.5

63.4

84.0

65.5

1
I

UTILIZATION

178.2
164.2
175.0

1979

1976
111

1
179.51
1
1
185.71
1
176.21

IV

i

1

11

111

66.41
1
1
89.51
1
84.61
1

86.7

85.9

85.3

88.7

87.9

87.9

85.6

84.8

84.0

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

SEP t

87.4

87.5

87.7

86,8

86.7

85.0

65.2

87.9
83.7

Industrial Materials
SERIES

19731
HlGHl

1975
LOU

1978
SEP.

MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
1 1979
OCT.

NOV.

DFC.I

1

MATERIALS, TOTAL
DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
METAL MATERIALS
NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
T E X . , PAPER, £ CHEM. MAT.
TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS
ENERGY MATERIALS

92.61 69.4
86.8
1
1
91.51 63.6
85.7
1
98.21 68.6
92.5
1
i
94.51 '67.2
88.7
1
95,11 65.3
88.8
i
92.61
57.9
85.6
99.4)
72.4
93.5
95.51 64.2
88.4
1
1
94.61 84.8
86.5
I
OUTPUT
1978

II
I

MATERIALS t TOTAL
DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS
M€TAL MATERIALS

150.2
151.9
126.6

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

165.9

T E X . , PA?ER, t CHENe MAT.

172.2

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS
ENERGY MATERIALS
NOTES

116.0
134.1
212.3
126.9

MAY

JAN.

FfR.

MAR.

APR.

67.9

87.8

88.3

86.9

87.3

87.0

87.5

85.4

86.3

86.9

86.9

85,1

88.6

86.2

90.6

88.2

87.0

90.3

91.5

89.7

89.4

89.8

90.0

89.6

89.7

89.2

89.8

89.5

89.6
90.3

1

87.6

88.1

86.6

87.2

93.8

94.4

89.1

89.5

88.9

89.5

87.7
93.1
88.2

87.0
93.3
89.3

88.4

88.8

89.2

90.0

89.9

69.9

90.1

89.8

90.3

90.1

86.4
89.9
89.7

65.8
92.4
90.5

86.8
93.8
89.8

85.3
94.3
90.1

86.5
93.4
90.1

69.4
93.9
89.0

89.0
96.4
69.2

87.7
95.3
69.5

87.3

86.7

87.6

87.2

86.6

86.8

66.8

87.4

1978

111

IV

155.6

156.5

173.9

157.7

158.1

176.5

124.3

139.3

173.4

175.4

188.5

181.3

163.6

196.2

119.6
140.7
224.6

136.3
146.9
242.2

128.1

129.21 144.7
i

1

1
175.41 176.6
1
1
180.11 181.5
I
139.61 139.8
1
|
190«2| 191.9
1
197.9) 199.6
I
136.61 136.9
147. 8|
146.7
244.61 247.4
1
|
145.71 146.7
»

1979

1976

1979

IV

87.1

UTILIZATION

CAPACITY

1979

1
1
154.61 155.5
1
1
157.31 158.4
|
132.21 124.7
1
1
170.31 172.2
|
177.11 179.1
I
119.51 118.2
138.11 136.9
218.01 222.7
|
1
128.91 127.9

88.81
1
1
88.41
1
96.01
1
1
90.11
1
90.21
1
87.81
93.91
89.91
|
j
88.21
1

11

ll
li

1

1 1 IV
1

11

II
I

1
178.1

179.6

183.0

184.6

140.3

86.4

85.1
90.9

193.7

195.7

201.5

203.8

137.3
149.9
250.6

147.5

88.0

87.8
85.1
91.3
87.6

148.31

87.7

88.21 88.0
|
1
87.41 87.3
1
94.7}
89.1
»
1
89.61 89.7
1
89.51 89. f
1
67.31 86.3
93.41 92.0
90.0
69.11
1
1
68.51 87.2
1

87.3

87.0

86.2

85.7

88.5

69.5

89.6

89.9

90.2

87.1
93.9
89.7

66.9

87.1

ESTIMATES OF ACTUAL OUTPUT AND CAPACITY OUTPUT ARE BOTH EXPRESSES AS PERCENTAGES OF 1967 ACTUAL OUTPUT. ESTIMATES Of
CAPACITY UTILIZATION IN PERCENT ARE CALCULATED AS R A T I O S OF (1) THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED INDEXES OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TO (21 THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES pt CAPACITY. INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS ARE ITEMS BOTH PRODUCED AND USEO AS INPUTS 6Y MANUFACTURING PLANTS, MINES ANO UTILITIES} INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS COVER MANY OF THE ITEMS REPRESENTED IN THE PRIMARY
PROCESS I Ne GROUPING OF MANUFACTURING AS WELL AS SOME OF THE OUTPUT OF MINES ANO 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

TO EACH SERIES AND MAY OCCUR IN

"DIFFERENT MONTHS. INDUSTRIAL PLANTS USUALLY OPERATE AT CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATES THAT ARE WELL BELOW 100 PERCENT j 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 1978, AND ABOUT 85 PERCENT FOR INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS FOR 1967 THROUGH 1978.
IN
MANUFACTURING 'AS A WHOLE* UTILIZATION RATES AS HIGH AS 90 PERCENT HAVE BEEN EXCEEDED ONLY IN WARTIME. THE PEAK RATES OF UTILIZATION IN 1979 MERE ASSOCIATED WITH SIGNIFICANT UPWARD PRESSURE ON PRICES.
f i7ATIfjfH. REVISED DATA
.
THE METHODOLOGY AND THE SERIES ARE DESCRIBED IN FEDERAL RPSPRUP MPA.ftj.tPS Q£ CAPACITY AJUJ f-APAflTY
ARC FOUND IN "CAPACITY UTILIZATIONS MANUFACTURING ANO MATERIALS, JANUARY 1967— DECEMBER 1976. « BOTH PUBLICATIONS MAY BE OBTAINED FRQN PUBLICATIONS SERVICES, BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20551