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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
G.3 (402)

For immediate release
September 17, 1981
CAPACITY UTILIZATION: MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS
August 1981

Capacity utilization in manufacturing declined 0.6 of a percentage
point in August to 79.2 percent—its lowest level since October 1980. Producers
of industrial materials operated at 81.2 percent of their capacity in August,
down 0.5 of a percentage point from last month. ^
Within manufacturing, the primary processing industries' utilization
rate decreased 0.5 of a percentage point in August to 79.3 percent, and the
advanced processing industries' rate decreased 0.6 of a percentage point to 79.1
percent. The utilization rate for the motor vehicles and parts industry fell
sharply again. Operating rates for producers of food, textiles, rubber and
plastics products, iron and steel, fabricated metals, electrical machinery,
aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, and stone, clay and glass
declined more moderately. In contrast, the operating rate for the petroleum
industry increased for the first month since January, and rates also rose for the
nonelectrical machinery and instruments industries.
Producers of durable goods materials utilized 78.6 percent of their
capacity in August, down 0.5 of a percentage point from July, and the rate for
nondurable goods materials producers declined by 0.2 of a percentage point to
83.9 percent. Capacity utilization for energy materials producers fell 1.6
percentage points to 84.1 percent, largely because of declines in coal mining and
electricity generation.

1. The estimates of capacity utilization contained in this release have been
revised for 1980 and 1981 based on revised capacity indexes (attached) and revised
industrial production indexes.
INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS
MANUFACTURING
PERCENT




100

ENERGY

TOTAL

V
1 1 i

1 1 1 1 I'l
/V^A

^y

1 I

1 1 !

80

V

V

i i

^

V
1 1

60
100

I

I I I I

NONDURABLE GOODS

PRIMARY PROCESSING

/

I I

Y.
80

\ V
W

ADVANCED
PROCESSMG

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 i i

60

DURABLE GOODS

i i r ii

I

OUTPUT, CAPACITY AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Output and Capacity are Percentages of 1967 Output; Capacity Utilization is a Per Cent of Capacity.
Seasonally Adjusted

Manufacturing
1975
1980
LOS j AUG.
69.0

75.8

77.0

78.2

79.3

i

1973|
HIGH?
1
88.01
1
1
93.81

MONTHLY CAPACITY UIILIZA1DION
1981
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC. I JAN.

68.2

72.6

75.6

77.6

i

85.51

69.4

77.3

77.7

78.3

i
I

1980
II

III

i 143.9

141.5

SERIES
1
MANUFACTURING,

PRIMARY

TOTAL

PROCESSING

ADVANCED

PROCESSING

OUTPUT

MANUFACTURING,

PRIMARY

TOTAL

145.0

PROCESSING

ADVANCED

139.7

! 143.3

PROCESSING

142.3

IV
1
148.6J 151.3
1

80.9
79.2

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

80.0

79. 7

79.8

79.2

81.5

80.8

80.7

80. 6

79. 6

79,8

79.3

79.0

79.2

79.2

79.4

79.8.

79. 6

79.7

79.1

j
I
CAPACITY

1980
II

III
1
152.4| 184.8

III_

156.61 189.8

148.1

150.21 182.2
1

UTILIZATION

I

1981
I

IV

I

III

IV

77.9

187.91 189.4
1

190.91

191.2

192.5| 193.8

195-01

185.51 187.1

183.8

1980
II

75.9

79. U

76.4

73.1
77.4

1981
I

II

79 . 9

79.8

79 31

81.3

80.3

1
78. 81

79.T

79.6

I

186.4

1

152.71 157*5
146.21

MAY

79.8

79.8

81.5

79.0

APR.
79.8

FEB.

80,0

79.5

I
1

1981

79.8

I
1

1
188.7)

78.7

1

j

Industrial Materials
SERIES

19731
HIGHJ
1
92.6|

MATERIALS, TOTAL

DURABLE GOODS

MATERIALS

METAL MATERIALS

'

94. 51

TEX., PAPER, S CHEH. MAT.

95. 11

1

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

ENERGY MATERIALS

1
92. 61
99.
95. 51
1
1
94. 61
*

I

SEP.

69. 4

76.8

•

!

75.0

70.5

69.3

80.5

78.4

76.6

73.3

62.4

63.6

81.4

70w5

METAL MATEBIALS

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

JUNE

JULY

AUG.

81.2

81.4

81.7

81.2

78.4

78.5

79.2

78,8

79.2

78.8

79-1

78.6

83.2

83.9

79.9

80.3

78.4

78.2

1
1
77.11
80.3|
i

67. 2

79.3

83.9

85.1

85.3

87.2|

87.3

86.8

85.4

85.9

85.6

84.7

84.1

83.9

65. 3

77.5

82.6

84.5

84.9

87.1|

86.7

86.3

85.0

85.5

85.4

84.0

83.4

83.2

57. 9
72. 4
64. 2

80.9
90.7
73.6

82.0
93.8
80.3

81.4
94.1
82.9

82.4
94,. 3
83.3

80.2|
95.01
86.81

82.0
94.5
86.0

82.2
94.5
85.3

81.5
95.3
83.4

81.9
94.9
84.1

81.7
93.9
84 .3

80.8
93.0
82.7

81.2
92.3
81-8

84.9
1
,
CAPACITY

85.8

85.2

79-9

79.8

83.4

85.7

84.1

1981
I

II

82.2

81.2

1
1
84. 8

84.9

83.8

I]
[I.

1981
I

IV

I

84.4

82.7

1
1 1980
II

139 2

84.6|

1981

1*1

1

149.4| 154.2

153.41 183.8

1
1

185.1

131 .4

144.3| 150.9

152.31 188.3

189.5

| 101 .5

87 .3

109.41 117.5

112.71 140.9

141.2

1
1

176.31 179,2

178.7| 201.5

163 .2

IV

I

186.41 187.6

1
1

I 140. 7

! 166.1

MAY

81.1

81.9

81.4|

1

DURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

APR,.

82.1

i

1

MATERIALS, TOTAL

145. 0

MAR.

82.3

i

OUTPUT
1980
II

FEB.

82.1

1

1
1
91. 51 63. 6
1
98. 3| 68. 6
1
1

NONDURABLE GOODS MATERIALS

MONTHLY CAPACITY UTILIZATION
« 1981
OCT..
NOV.
DEC.l
JAN.

1975
1980
LOH 1 AUG.

203.4

190.6| 191.8
1
141.31 141.5
1
1
205.31 207.3

I
I
III

UTILIZATION
1980
II

III

IV

1
188.91

78.8

75.2

80. 11

1

1

1
192.91

74.7

69.3

75.7J

78.7

78.9

141.71

72-0

61.8

77.4|

83. 0

7S.5

1

8
209.21

82.4

80.2

85.9|

86.5

85.4

TEX., PAPER, & CBEM. MAT. I 171 .5

167-0

183.7| 186.7

186.31 210.4

212.6

214.91 217.1

219.4|

81.5

78.5

85.5|

86.0

84.9

! 117.7
| 141.2
I 207 .3

113.2
143.6
200.0

113.71 114.8
149-71 151.4
228.21 232.7

114.61 139.1
151.01 155.9
232.21 263.6

139.4
157.2
267.1

139.71 140-1
158.51 159.7
270,51 274.. 1

140.. 61
160.71
277.5|

84.6
90.5
78.7

81.2
91.3
74.9

81.4|
94.5|
84.3|

81.9
94.8
84.9

81.5
93.9
83.7

I 129 .1

128.4

128.21 130.9

152,3

152.81 153.5

85.1

84.4

83-9|

85.3

81.0

•

TEXTILE MATERIALS
PAPER MATERIALS
CHEMICAL MATERIALS

1
1
ENERGY MATEBIALS

NOTE:

j

1

1
1

125.01 151.7

1
1

1
154.21

I

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 INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TO (2) THE CORRESPONDING INDEXES OF CAPACITY. INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS ARE ITEMS BOTH PRODUCES AND USED AS INPUTS BY MANUFACTURING PLANTS, MINES AND UTILITIES; INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS COVER MANY OF THE ITEMS REPRESENTED IN THE PRIMARY
PROCESSING GROUPING OF MANUFACTURING AS HELL 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, SHORN 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 HELL BELOH 100 PERCENT; NONE OF
THE BROAD AGGREGATE SERIES HAS EVER INDICATED A 100 PERCENT USE OF CAPACITY. CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATES AViBAGED ABOUT 83
PERCENT FOR MANUFACTURING FROM 1955 THROUGH 1979, AND ABOUT 85 PERCENT FOR INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS FOR 1967 THROUGH 1979. IN
MANUFACTURING AS A WHOLE, UTILIZATION RATES AS HIGH AS 90 PERCENT HAVE BEEN EXCEEDED ONLY IN WARTIME. THE PEAK RATES OF UTILIZATION IN 1973 HERE ASSOCIATED H U H SIGNIFICANT UPWARD PRESSURE ON PRICES.
THE METHODOLOGY AND THE SERIES ARE DESCRIBED IN FfigERAL RESERVE MEASURES Of. CAPACITY AND CAPACITY UTILIZATION.
REVISED DATA
ARE FOUND IN "CAPACITY UTILIZATION:
MANUFACTURING AND MATERIALS, JANUARY 1967—DECEMBER 1978," BOTH PUBLICATIONS HAY BE OBTAINED FROM PUBLICATIONS SERVICES, BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, HASHINGTON, D.C. 20551