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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
G.3 (402)

''W&y
For Immediate release

CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Industrial Materials

September 16, 1983

Capacity utilization in manufacturing, mining, and utilities rose 0.6 of a
percentage point in August to 76*7 percent, following an advance of 1.4
percentage points in July. The operating rate for manufacturing increased
0.5 of a percentage point, while the mining and utilities industries posted
gains of 1*0 and 1.3 percentage points, respectively. Producers of industrial
materials also utilized 76.7 percent of capacity in August, up 0.7 of a
percentage point from the rate in July.
The relatively large rises in the operating rates for utilities this summer
reflect increased electricity use prompted by unusually hot weather*
Capacity utilization for electric utilities has advanced more than 3 percentage
points in the two months of July and August to 82.4 percent, after declining
slightly in May and June.
Within manufacturing, operating rates continued to increase for most industries
in August, but at a slower pace than in July. Capacity utilization in the
motor vehicles and parts industry rose about 1-1/2 percentage points, and
the rate for auto plants climbed to 78.6 percent. Little spare capacity
remained in plants producing large cars, which have sold well. The operating
rate for the rubber and plastics industry continued to gain—it has risen
strongly this year, advancing 14 percentage points since December to 88.5
percent. The operating rate for producers of refined petroleum products
declined in August, after gaining more than 8 percentage points from its
February low. Producers of electrical machinery also utilized less capacity
in August, as activity was hampered by a strike in the telephone apparatus
industry.
Among producers of industrial materials, the 0.7 percent increase in the
operating rate was shared by producers of durable goods, nondurable goods,
and energy materials.

Capacity Utilization: Summary
Percent of capacity, seasonally adjusted
Series
Total Industry

1973
HIGH

1975
L W
O

1978
-80
HIGH

1982
L W
O

1967
-82
AVER.

1983
HAY 1 JUNE I JULY I

AOG

88.4

71-1

87,3

69.6

82.4.

73.9

74.7

76,1

76.7

Manufacturing
Durable
Nondurable

87-9
87.9
89.1

69.. 0
67.6
71.0

8.7.5
89*4
87.2

68.8
64-8
73.8

81.8.
80.5.
83.9.

73.8
70.7
77.7

74.8
71.8
78-6

76.2
73*5
79.6

76.7
74«0
80.0

Mining
Utilities

91.8
94.9

86.0
82-0

90. 4
86-8

69.6
79.0

86.5.
88.6.

68.2
80.9

68.4
80.4

69.7
81.7

70.7
83.0

92-. 6

69.3

88.9

66.6

83.3.

73.5

74.4

76.0

76.7

Industrial Materials




CAPACITY UTILIZATION

AUGUST DATA

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED, PERCENT

110
TOTAL INDUSTRY
TOTAL MATERIALS
90

70

50
110
UTILITIES
MINING
90

\ /

70

50
110
MANUFACTURING

90

NONDURABLE

REFINED PETROLEUM
PRODUCTS
70

50
110
MOTOR VEHICLES
AND PARTS
90

70

50

30
1968

1971

1974




1977

1980

1983

1968

1971

1974

1977

1980

1983

MANUFACTURING, MINING AND UTILITIES
Table 1

Capacity Utilization
Series

1975

1973
HIGH

1978 | 1982

1967 |

-80
| LOW
HIGH |
I
I
i

LOW

1

TEAR

-82
j AGO
L. 1 9 8 2 |
MONTH
AVER.i t* v/ at -t ~u'
DEC 1

j

jin

1983
|

Total Industry

88.4 j

71.1 | 87.3 { 69.6

82.4 | 71.8

69.7|

70.7

71.0

71.8

73.1

73.9

74.7 01 76.1

Manufacturing

87,9

69.0

81.8

68. 91

70.0

70.6

71.6

72-9

73.8

74.8

76.2

76.7

93.7 |
85.. 5 |

68.2 l 91.4
66,2
69.4
85.9 | 70.0

66.2|
70.4|

68.6
70*9

70.8
70.8

72.1
71.5

73,. 4
72.5

74.6
73.4

75.5
74.4

76.9
75.8

77.9
76.1
74.0

Primary processing
Advanced processing
Durable manufacturing
Stone,, clay and glass products
Iron and steel, subtotal
Nonferrous metals, subtotal
Fabricated metal products
Nonelectrical machinery
Electrical machinery
Motor vehicles and parts
Autos
Aerospace and misc. trans, eqp.
Instruments

87.5

68.8

71.2

84.0 1 68,7 |
80.6 ! 72.4 1

76.7

67.6
89,4
80.5
64.8
64.0 ( '90.4 ( 63.0
78.4 |
69.2 | 97,5 i 38.8
82.3 |
60.. 8
98.2 | 62.. 1
83.8 |
65,7
90.0 | 60.7 | 79.6 |
88.. 3 | 71,8
83.1
61.6 | 79.8 |
88,. 7
62.3 ] 90.6 | 74.7 | 80.0
98-7
51.3
94.5
46.1
78.6
HA
HA
NA
91.6 { 35.8
76,. 0
68.. 0
93.9
69.1 | 7 8 . 1
89-6
73-7
92.3
73.1 | 83.5

68.1
65.0
47.3
67.7 |
65.1
65-7
77.3
59.9
55.2
69.4 I
78.5

65.1|
63.0|
38.8|
63.0|
60.8|
61.6|
74.7|
56.0|
52.3|
69.4|
73.1|

66.4
64.2
49.1
66.2
60.9
61.0
76.4
58.7
57.8
69.4
72.6

67.1
66.0
53.6
68.7
62.4
60., 1
76.. 0
63.5
63.9
67.8
72.0

68.3
67.8
55.7
71-8
64.3
61.0
77.9
63.7
59.5
68.1
72.2

69,7
69. 1
57.0
73.6
65.0
62.9
79.3
65.0
61.2
68.2
72.6

70-7
69.5
57.8
75.7
65.0
64,0
80.4
67.7
64.0
68.0
72.9

71.8
70.7
58.0
76.7
66.6
65.5
81.0
70.8
70.5
67.9
72.8

73.5
71.9
60.9
75-5
68.1
67.3
83.2
74.0
77.3
68-1
73.7

74.3
68.9
68.1
82.5
75.6
78.6
67.9
74.5

89-1
85.7
95.4
96.7
86.2
99.1
97.4

I
|
|
I
|
|
|

75.0
77.5
76.8
67.3
65.5
73.4
78.2

73.8|
77.9|
74.6|
86. 11
64.8|
72.2|
74.5|

74.5
78.5
76.9
90.4
65.2
69.2
76.3

75.1
77.6
79.9
88.5
66.5
68.2
78.6

75.8
76.9
80,7
88.8
67.4
70.2
80.9

76.9
77.5
83.6
89.1
68-2
73.9
84.1

77.7
78.3
85.4
91.6
68.8
76.0
85.5

78.6
78.9
86.8
92.3
69.8
76.0
86.8

79.6

80.0

Mining

91.8

| 86.0 | 90.4

69-6 | 86.5 I 70.9 1 71.7|

73.8

69.9

68.1

67.5

68.2

68.4

69.7

70-7

Utilities
Electric utilities

94.9
97.6

| 8 2 . 0 [ 86.8 I 79.0 | 88.6 I 81.6 |
| 8 2 . 1 | 87.0 I 77.9 | 89.8 I 80.3 I

79.0|
77.9|

78.4
77.2

77.7
76.5

79.4
78.5

80.9
80.1

80.9
80.0

80.4
79.2

81.7
80.7

83.0
82.4

1

1

Nondurable manufacturing
Foods
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products

87.9
88.0
103.3
99,. 0
86., 3 {

71.0 I
77.2 |
61.3 I
69.1 |
65.9 |
84.6 |
62.1 I

87.2
85.2
91.3
95.1
83.6
93.0
91.5

I
I
|
|
I
I
I

73.8
76.5
73.0
84.2
64.0
71.5
74.0

|
|
|
|
|
|
|

83.9
83.3
86.2
89.6
78.7
89.6
88.3

t
I
|
|
I
I
!

1

I
1
|
|
|
|
1

88.8
94.0
70.3
76.7
87.6

95.6
75.0

Table 2

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

1982
II

|
!

1983
III

I

I?

Total Industry

139.4

138.2

135.31 138.5

Manufacturing

138.1

137.7

134.5! 138.4

1

III

CAPACITY
'I

!
!
II!

192.8

193.7| 194.6

1
195.5!

193.9

194.8| 195.7

1982
II

1
144.41 191.9
•
145.21 192.9

1983
III

IV

1982
II

UTILIZATION
III

I

72.6

71.7

196.6! 71.6
1
194.8! 68.8
197.6! 73.1
•

71.0
68.6
72.3

1
69.8|
•
69.01
•
66-8|
70.2!

69.1
63.8
50.7
66.0
66.7
67.6
78.5
60.5
55-9
71.9
78.0

68.1
65.0
47.2
68.1
64.9
65.4
77.0
61.1
59.6
69.6
77.9

65.1!
63.8|
41.01
63-6!
60.9|
62.0|
74.91
53.8J
48.6|
69.5|
73.7!

•
•

1983

IV

II

71.2

73.9

70.7

73.8

70.5
71.1

74.6
73.4

67.2
66.0
52.8
68-9
62.5
60.7
76.8
62.0
60.4
68.4
72.3

70.7
69.8
57.6
75.3
65.5
64.2
80.2
67.8
65.2
68.0
72.8

132.3
141.2

132.4
140.5

129.3| 137.0
137.31 139.7

145.31 192.3
145.11 193.2

193.0
194.3

193.71 194.3
195.4| 196.5

Durable manufacturing
Stone, clay and glass products
Iron and steel, subtotal
Nonferrous metals, subtotal
Fabricated metal products
Nonelectrical machinery
Electrical machinery
Motor vehicles and parts
Autos
Aerospace and misc. trans, eqp.
Instruments

126.. 1
126. 0

124.8
128.. 7
57.3
101.1
114.0
146,4
169..0
119.1
100-7
98.1
164.2

119.8|
126.91
49.4|
94-31
107.31
139.7|
165.51
104.51
81.7|
98.7|
156. 1|

124.2
131.8
63.4
102.3
110.6
137.6
170.7
120.0
101. 4
97.9
154.0

131.1|
139.8|
69.21
111.8|
116..4I
146.3|
179-8|
130.71
109.51
98.1|
155.7f

182.5
197. 4
122.0
148.4
174.8
222.6
218.2
195.4
170.0
140.0
209.9

183.3
198. 1
121.3
148.4
175.5
223.9
219.6
194.9
169.1
141.0
210.9

184.0]
198.8|
120.5J
148.4|
176.21
225.31
220.9!
194.4)
168.21
142.1|
212.01

184.7
199., 6
120.1
148. 4
176.9
226.7
222.4
193.7
167.8
143.1
213.0

185.4J
200.4!
120.1J
148.4!
177.6J
228.1!
224.1J
192.7J
167.8!
144.2!
214.1!

Nondurable manufacturing
Foods
Textile mill products
Paper and products
Chemicals and products
Petroleum products
Rubber and plastics products

155.5 156.4
150.4 150.2
124.5 125.4
147.7 151.. 3
195.. 1 195.4
122.4 122.9
257.0 260. 0

155.7J
152. 1|
123.7|
153.5|
194.31
120.81
252.1|

159.0
153-1
129.5
156-9
201.. 9
113.3
264.1

165.51
155.5!
139.31
160.51
211.4|
122.7J
287.91

208.0
192.9
164.2
174.0
295.5
166.3
332.5

209.3
194.4
164.0
174.6
298.4
165.4
333.7

210.5!
195.8!
163.8|
175.3|
301.31
164.61
335.01

211.7
197.2
163.6
175-9
304.1
163.8
336,0

212.8|
198.7J
163.4)
176.4!
306.8!
163.0!
336.8|

74.7
78. 0
75.8
84-9
66.0
73.6
77.3

74.8
77.3
76.5
86.6
65.5
74.3
77.9

74.0|
77..7J
75.51
87.6|
64.5!
73-4!
75.3!

75. 1
77.6
79. 1
89.2
66.. 4
69.2
78-6

77.7
78.2
85.3
91.0
68.9
75.3
85.5

128.8

117.08 116.7

112.59 164.6

164.8

165.1! 165.2

165.3!

78.3

71.1

70,9!

70-6

68.1

166.21 163.6
187.41 385.2

169-41 205.7
192.41 235.2

207.41 208.5
237.74 239.2

209.8J
241.11

82.9
81.9

81.3
80.0

80.1!
78.81

78.5
77.4

80.7
79.8

Primary processing
Advanced processing

Mining
Utilities
Electric utilities




6K8

97.9
116.6
150.4
171.3
118.2
95. 1
100.7
163.. 8

170.4
192.7

117.2
167.9
189.1

206.5
236.5

•

•

•

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS
Table 3

Capacity Utilization
Monthly, seasonally adjusted, percent of capacity
1973 | 1975
1978 | 1982 | 1967 |
| -80
HIGH | LOi
| LW
O
-82
|
Series
HIGH |
1
\ AVER.j
1
!
66.6 | 83.3 |
92.6 | 6 9 . 3
Industrial Materials
88.9
1
1
88.4
79.7
59.8
91-4
63-5
Durable goods materials
Metal materials

97-8

68.0

Raw steel
Aluminum

107.1
96.. 8

68.0
73.4

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

94-4

67-4

95-1

65-4

99.4
95., 5

72-4
64.2

94«5

Energy materials

95-4

46.2

92-3

AGO J
MONTHJ

I 86.5

i 68.6 | 86.5

86-3 | 93.. 4
| 97.9
| 91.3 | 64.0 | 85.1

|
|
| 8 4 - 4 | 88-9 | 7 8 . 5 | 88 n 5

1
19821
DEC |
1
66.6|
1
1
59-8|

1983
JAN |

FEB J

MAE 1

APR |

MAY |

JUNE!

JULY!

AUG

76-0

76.7

64.4

68.7

70-1

71.5

72.5

73.5

74-4

62.3

64-2

66.0

67.7

68.9

70. 1

72.0

72-9

46.8|

69.5 1

53.3

56-1

58.8

59.9

61.0

6U7

62-8

63.8

40-2|
57.. 91
1
!
71.6|
1
70-0|
1
87.4|
65.4|
1
1
78-5|

47.9
59.0

52.1
58«3

55.7
59., 8

56-9
60.5

58.0
63-0

58-2
64-5

59.4
68.0

73.4

75.. 3

76-8

77.2

78.7

79-3

79-9

80.6

71.4

74» 1

75.8

76.4

78-1

78-8

79-6

80.4

90.9
66.4

90-8
6 9.. 9

90.. 3
71.9

91.0
72.6

92.9
74.0

93.. 0
74.7

96.2
75.1

80.1

79.2

79-2

78.9

78-5

78.8

81-1

•

51.8

82.2

84. 8
102-9
40-2
| 97., 9 | 57.9 | 90.6
|
I
I 91.7 t 70-7

YEAfi |

45.5
62.. 6 |
1
1
71-6 1
1
69-5 |
1
89.6 |
64.2 |
1
1
I 81.5 I
•

81.7

Table 4

Output, Capacity, and Capacity Utiiization
Quarterly, seasonally adjusted

CAPACITY

OUTPUT
Series

1982
II

III

Industrial Materials

134.7

.Durable goods materials

127. 1 124.7

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

132.6

1983
I

IV

I
128-7! 134.8
I
I
117.11 125-2

I
77-0

73-0

62., 4
55.. 2
116.. 1 104-9

66.5|

78-6

I

142.0 145-9
194oO
188*5

61..9
49 n 9|
99-0
97o5|
I
»
157., 0| 163.7
I
160.8| 169.3
I
147.. 6! 149-9
204.7

125-5

121.5J

156«8
160.. 5

155.. 1
158., 4

123.8

I
I

122»2

1982
II
I
141.7!
I
I
134.81
I
85.2|
I
68.. 71
105. 1|
I
I
171.51
!
179., 3|
I
153.3|
218.8]

IV
I

190-4 191-0

192-3

UTILIZATION

1
1
II!

1982
II

1
192-9J

70.7

IV

1983
I

II

69.4

67-1|

70.1

73.5

65.5

64.2

60.2|

64.2

68.9

54.7

51-9

56.1

60.9

51-9
69,4

46.0
62.6

47,4|
!
41-7!
58. 1|

51.9
59.0

57.7
62.7

73« 1

71.9

72..4I

75-2

78.4

73-8

77.8

I

I

I
194., 0

194-4

140-8

140.6

194.8|
I
140.3|
I
119.7J
167.6|

195..2
140»2

195.61
!
139.91

I
119.. 4
120., 2 120.0
167-4 167.5
167-7 119.1!
167.7J
I
I
I 217.. 8
214-5
215., 6
216.9|
218.8]
I 229-4
22 5. 4 226.8
!
228.3!
230.7!
I 165-3
162-7 163., 6
166.1]
288-4

121-5!

Definition. This release contains estimates of output, capacity, and capacity utilization for the
nation's factories, mines, and electric and gas utilities. Estimates of actual output and capacity output are expressed as percentages of 1967 actual output. Estimates of capacity utilization
are calculated as ratios, in percent, of the Federal Reserve's seasonally adjusted indexes of industrial production to the indexes of capacity. The capacity indexes are based on a variety of
data, including capacity data in physical units, surveys of capacity growth and utilization rates,
and estimates of capital stock growth. Instead of a formal definition of capacity the concept of
practical capacity is applied, which is 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.
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.




III

1983
I

290.6

152-3 152-8

164.4| 294. 8
292.8|
I
I 153.9
153.3J

I

71.2

69.8

70.5J

296.6)

87-3
67.2

89.1
64.9

154-3J

82-4

81.0

89-7| 90.7
92.3
65-5!
69.4
73.8
!
!
79-2| 79.5 78.7

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 1Q0 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 methodology used to estimate the series is discussed in New Federal Reserve
Measures of Capacity and Capacity Utilization, Federal Reserve Bulletin, July 1983. Revised
data from 1967-82 are included in the statistical supplement to the July 1983 capacity utilization release, which may be obtained from Publications Services, Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C. 20551.
Rounding. The rounding algorithms applied to the capacity, output, and utilization rate series
are independent. Aggregates are derived from unrounded detailed components.
Release schedule for 1983. Approximately 11 a.m. on August 17, September 16, October 17,
November 16 and December 16.