Capacity utilization 78.4% vs. 78.6% estimate

The US industrial production for March came in weaker than expected at -0.6% vs estimate of -0.3%. The prior month came in at +0.1% (unrevised). Capacity utilization fell to 78.4% from 79%, last month. This was lower than the estimate of 78.6%.

The decline in March, industrial production is the biggest since August 2012.

Auto production increased for the month and remained a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy manufacturing sector. The decline in the US dollar and lower commodity prices (i.e. oil down 50%) is hurting other manufacturing industries.

  • auto production increased 3.2% in the month
  • utility output fell 5.9%
  • mining decreased to 0.7%, with oil and gas well drilling falling 70% on a annualized rate in the last quarter
  • construction materials dropped 0.9%

The recent trends in Cap Utilization and Industrial production are not positive