Posted March 16, 2021

February Industrial production decreased 2.2 percent

Severe winter weather in February impacted industrial production, which declined 2.2 percent during the month.

Manufacturing output fell 3.1 percent and mining production declined 5.4 percent; the output of utilities increased 7.4 percent.

The severe winter weather in the south central region of the country in mid-February accounted for the bulk of the declines in output for the month. Most notably, some petroleum refineries, petrochemical facilities, and plastic resin plants suffered damage from the deep freeze and were offline for the rest of the month. Excluding the effects of the winter weather would have resulted in an index for manufacturing that fell about 1/2 percent and in an index for mining that rose about 1/2 percent. Both indexes would have remained below their pre-pandemic.

The indexes for durable, nondurable, and other (publishing and logging) manufacturing fell 2.6 percent, 3.7 percent, and 0.5 percent, respectively. Among durables, many industries experienced decreases of between 1 and 3 percent. The largest drop, 8.3 percent, was posted by motor vehicles and parts, while the only increases were recorded by primary metals and by aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment. The cutback in the output of motor vehicles and parts, which reflected both a global shortage of semiconductors and the severe weather, reduced overall manufacturing output about 1/2 percent. Among nondurables, most industries recorded losses. The largest reductions occurred in those industries most affected by the weather: The indexes for chemicals and for petroleum and coal products decreased 7.1 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Click for details.