Manufacturing & The Economy
Industrial production was unchanged in May after having decreased 0.4% in April. Gains in manufacturing and mining were offset by a decrease of 1.8% in the output of utilities. At 98.7% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in May was 1.6% above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry edged down 0.1% to 77.6%, a rate 0.2% below its level of a year earlier and 2.6% below its long-run (1972–2012) average.
Manufacturing output moved up 0.1% in May after having declined 0.3% in March and 0.4% in April. The index in May was 1.7% above its year-earlier level but was little changed, on net, since the turn of the year. The factory operating rate held steady in May at 75.8%, a rate 2.9% below its long-run average.
The output of durable goods advanced 0.2% in May and stood 2.9% above its year-earlier level. Among its major components, the largest gains were posted by wood products and by computer and electronic products, each of which increased 1.1%, and the largest losses were recorded in primary metals and in furniture and related products, each of which fell about 1%. Capacity utilization for durable goods manufacturing was unchanged at 75.9%, a rate 1.1% below its long-run average.