Friday, February 20, 2009

Industrial Production Drops

From the Federal Reserve:

Industrial production fell 1.8 percent in January. At 101.3 percent of its 2002 average, output in January was 10.0 percent below its year-earlier level. Production in the manufacturing sector dropped 2.5 percent with broad-based declines among its components. A plunge in motor vehicle and parts production that resulted from extended plant shutdowns subtracted more than 1.0 percentage point from the change in manufacturing production. The output of mines moved down 1.3 percent. A swing to below-average temperatures contributed to an increase of 2.7 percent in the output of utilities. The capacity utilization rate for total industry fell to 72.0 percent, a rate 8.9 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2008.


In January, manufacturing output fell 2.5 percent and was 12.9 percent below its year-earlier level. The factory operating rate moved down 1.7 percentage points, to 68.0 percent, the lowest rate of utilization since this series began in 1948. The index for durable goods dropped 4.8 percent. The output of motor vehicles and parts decreased at a monthly rate of 23.4 percent in January, after having contracted at an annual rate of more than 37 percent in the fourth quarter. All of the remaining major indexes fell sharply in January with the exception of miscellaneous manufacturing, which moved up 0.3 percent. The production of nondurable goods decreased 0.5 percent. The output of food, beverage, and tobacco products rose 0.6 percent after having fallen more than 2 percent in December, but declines were recorded in all the other major nondurable goods industries.

The index for the other manufacturing category, which consists of publishing and logging, decreased 1.5 percent.

There is no good news in this report. Period.