US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

16th May 2024

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Key takeaway: Industrial production in the US was little changed in April. The Industrial Production Index for the month of March was also revised down from 0.4% to 0.1%. Among major industry groups, the Index for Manufacturing decreased 0.3% in April. However that decrease came on the back of 2 positive months of increases of 1.4% and 0.2% in February and March. PMIs of late have indicated a bottoming out in Manufacturing. The output for mining fell 0.6%. The Index for utilities increased 2.8% in April. Capacity utilization decreased slightly from 78.5 to 78.4 in April. The capacity utilization number is still 1.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2023) average.  

16th Apr 2024

Key takeaway: Industrial production in the US increased by 0.4% in March. The Industrial Production Index for the month of February was revised up from 0.1% to 0.4%. Among major industry groups, the Index for Manufacturing increased 0.5% in March. In general, we have been witnessing a bottoming out in US manufacturing over the past few months. Manufacturing PMIs have also indicated a slight upturn. The manufacturing output data from this Fed release also validates this point. The same index was also revised higher for February from 0.8% to 1.2%. The output for mining fell 1.4%. However, that was on the back of a 3.0% increase in mining in the month of February. The Index for utilities increased 2.0% in March. Capacity utilization increased slightly from 78.2 to 78.4 in March. The capacity utilization number is still 1.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2023) average.  

15th Mar 2024

Key takeaway: Industrial production in the US increased slightly by 0.1% in February. More importantly, the Industrial Production Index numbers for the two previous months of January and December were both revised downwards. Among major industry groups, the Index for Manufacturing increased 0.8% in February. However, the same index was also revised lower for January from minus 0.5% to -1.1%. The output for mining rose 2.2%. Both increases in the month of February were partially attributable to recoveries from the weather related declines in January. The Index for utilities fell 7.5% in February because of warmer-then-typical temperatures. Capacity utilization was unchanged at 78.3 in February but January was revised down from 78.5 to 78.3. The capacity utilization number is still 1.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2023) average.  

15th Feb 2024

Key takeaway: Industrial production decreased 0.1% in January. The previous estimate for December was also revised lower from +0.1% to 0.0%. Overall, the manufacturing sector continues to remain soft. After a strong July print, Industrial Production has been soft through the rest of 2023 and January 2024 was no exception. Consumer Goods production index increased a relatively healthy 0.6% and Business equipment production index declined 0.2%. Capacity utilization declined slightly from 78.7% in December to 78.5% in January, still 1.6 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2022) average.  

17th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: Industrial production increased a marginal 0.1% in December. The previous estimate for November, on the other hand, was revised lower from +0.2% to 0.0%. Overall, the manufacturing sector continues to remain soft. After a strong July print, Industrial Production has been soft through the rest of 2023. Consumer Goods production index increased a marginal 0.2% and Business equipment production index declined 0.2% after having risen 1.0% in the prior month. Capacity utilization remained flat at 78.6 percent compared to the downwardly revised November number, still 1.1 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2022) average.  

15th Dec 2023

Key takeaway: Industrial production increased a modest 0.2% in November. The previous estimate for October was also revised lower from -0.6% to -0.9%. Overall, the manufacturing sector continues to remain soft. After a strong July print, August, September and October had recorded soft or negative manufacturing numbers. Consumer Goods production index increased a marginal 0.1% and Business equipment production index increased 0.9%. Capacity utilization improved marginally to 78.8 percent in November, still 0.9 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2022) average.  

16th Nov 2023

Key takeaway: Industrial production declined a substantial 0.6% in October. The previous estimate for September was also revised lower from 0.3% to 0.1%. However, even though the print was low, much of the drop was attributable to the recent strikes at the major motor vehicle manufacturers. In any case, overall, the manufacturing sector continues to remain soft. After a strong July print, both August and September had recorded soft manufacturing numbers and that trend continued in October as well. Consumer Goods production index decreased 1.2% and Business equipment production index declined 0.9%. Capacity utilization declined to 78.9 percent in October in line with its long-run (1972–2022) average.  

17th Oct 2023

Key takeaway: Industrial production increased 0.3% in September and advanced at an annual rate of 2.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2023. Overall, the manufacturing sector continues to remain soft. After a strong July print, both August and September have recorded soft manufacturing numbers. Consumer Goods production index increased 0.3% and Business equipment production index declined 0.7%. Capacity utilization moved up to 79.7 percent in September in line with its long-run (1972–2022) average. The overall picture remains one of resilience in the service sector and continuing activity in the construction sector which is countering a relative slowdown in manufacturing.  

15th Sep 2023

Key takeaway: The general picture in the US economy has been that of a slowdown in manufacturing but resilience in Services. However, last month’s release had shown Industrial Production increased a substantial 1.0% in July – which was welcome news for the manufacturing sector. However, after an exceptional July, Industrial Production once again printed a modest 0.4% in August. Similarly, the July print was revised down from 1.0% to 0.7%. Consumer Goods production index declined -0.2% and Business equipment production index increased 0.8%. Capacity utilization moved up to 79.7 percent in August in line with its long-run (1972–2022) average. The overall picture yet remains one of resilience in the service sector and continuing activity in the construction sector which is countering a relative slowdown in manufacturing.  

16th Aug 2023

Key takeaway: The general picture in the US economy has been that of a slowdown in manufacturing but resilience in Services. However, Industrial Production increased a substantial 1.0% in July – which was welcome news for the manufacturing sector. There was significant spike in Consumer Goods production (1.4%), led by automotive products. Business equipment production index also grew at a robust rate of 1.0%. However, while this is welcome news, it is also key to note that the Industrial Production reading for the previous month of June was revised down from 0.5% to 0.8%. Capacity utilization moved up to 79.3 percent in July, a rate that is 0.4 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2022) average. The overall picture yet remains one of resilience in the service sector and continuing activity in the construction sector which is countering a relative slowdown in manufacturing.  

19th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: Industrial Production declined for a second consecutive month in June by a sizeable 0.5%. Even the previous month of May was revised further down. While production in the Utilities segment has generally been falling in the recent months, industrial production numbers for Manufacturing and Mining also declined in June. While these numbers might not mean much standalone, when viewed together with historical averages, other PMI data and the Regional Fed manufacturing indexes, they do communicate a broader slowdown in manufacturing story. However, the key point to note has been the resilience of the service sector and the continuing activity in the construction sector which is countering a relative slowdown in manufacturing.  

15th Jun 2023

Key takeaway: Industrial Production edged down 0.2% in May. The last 4 months readings have now been 0.0%, 0.1%, 0.5% and minus 0.2%. Similarly the manufacturing index also rose a tepid 0.1% in May. While these numbers might not mean much standalone, when viewed together with historical averages, other PMI data and the Regional Fed manufacturing indexes, they do communicate a broader slowdown in manufacturing story. However, the key point to note has been the resilience of the service sector and the continuing activity in the construction sector which is countering a relative slowdown in manufacturing.  

16th May 2023

Key takeaway: Industrial Production rose 0.5% in April after 2 months of relatively low prints in Feb and Mar. Preliminary releases had shown Industrial Production to have climbed 0.4% in March. However, subsequent releases revised this number back down to 0%. Hence, the 0.5% rise in the headline Industrial Production Index should still be viewed as indicative of a slowing manufacturing sector in the US. The Manufacturing Index for March was also revised lower from -0.5% to -0.8%. In contrast, preliminary estimates for April showed manufacturing grew 1.0% m-o-m.  The softness in manufacturing and mining indexes as well as declining capacity utilisation provides continuing evidence of a broad slowdown in US manufacturing. Regional Fed manufacturing indexes have also been pointing to a weaker manufacturing sector, including the latest NY Fed manufacturing survey which showed a massive index fall from from 10.8 to minus 31.8 (the lowest since 2009 excluding peak covid).  

14th Apr 2023

Key takeaway: After a large contraction in December and a jump back in January, Industrial Production in the US has been relatively muted in both Feb and Mar. Industrial production rose 0.4% in March against consensus expectation of +0.2%. A large part of the index increase though was attributable to a jump in the index for utilities as the return to more seasonal cold weather in Mar increased the demand for heating. On the other hand manufacturing and mining recorded decreases of 0.5% m-o-m in Mar – a further indication of a slowdown in US manufacturing. Yet, it is key to remember that the Index levels are far from those seen in previous recessionary episodes. Similarly, though capacity utilization (79.8% in Mar) has fallen from 2022 highs, it is still significantly above lows seen in previous recession. 

US Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization numbers are published by the NY Fed every month. Industrial Production measures the change in the total inflation adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines and utilities. The Capacity Utilization Rate is the percentage of production capacity being utilized in the US (available resources includes factories, mines and utilities). The Industrial sector together with construction accounts for the bulk of the variation in national output over the course of the business cycle. Both these indicators can be a concurrent or lagging indicator of the health of the US economy. But they can also be a leading indicators of CPI. The release is published around the middle of the month.

NY Fed Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization G17 Release