Posted March 17, 2022

Industrial production rose 0.5 percent in February

Total industrial production rose 0.5 percent in February to a level that is 103.6 percent of its 2017 average.

Manufacturing output increased 1.2 percent after having been little changed in each of the previous two months. In February, the index for utilities declined 2.7 percent, and the output of mines edged up 0.l percent.

Total industrial production in February was 7.5 percent higher than its year-earlier level, but severe winter weather in February 2021 significantly suppressed industrial activity that month. A more useful comparison shows that the index has advanced a still-strong 4.2 percent since January 2021. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3 percentage point in February to 77.6 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2021) average.

The indexes for durable and nondurable manufacturing moved up 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, while the output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) moved down 0.4 percent. Most major durable and nondurable goods industry groups posted gains. An exception was the output of motor vehicles and parts, which declined 3.5 percent and continued to be restrained by a shortage of electronic components. In February, the indexes for most industry groups were higher than in the beginning of 2021; notable exceptions were the indexes for motor vehicles and parts and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging)

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