A newly released report from the Federal Reserve showed U.S. industrial production fell 0.5% in April, after having increased 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent in March and February, respectively.
Following are some highlights from the report:
The production of durable consumer goods moved down 0.8 percent; among the major components of this category, home electronics posted a small gain, but decreases were recorded by automotive products; appliances, furniture, and carpeting; and miscellaneous durables.
The output of business equipment moved down 0.5 percent in April and was 3.4 percent above its year-earlier level. The decline reflected similarly sized losses for all of the major business equipment categories. The index for information processing equipment declined for a fourth consecutive month after having posted a sizable increase in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The production of defense and space equipment decreased 0.3 percent in April, following an increase of 0.2 percent in March. In April, the index stood 0.5 percent above its year-earlier level.
Among nonindustrial supplies, the index for construction supplies moved down 0.8 percent in April after having fallen 1.5 percent in March.
The output of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percent in April as a result of broadly based losses among the major components of this category. The production of durable materials decreased 0.4 percent. Within durable materials, the output of equipment parts edged up, but reductions were recorded by consumer parts and by other durable materials.
The production of durable goods moved down 0.6 percent in April. Output decreased for all major categories of durable goods, with the exception of computer and electronic products. The largest drop was in the output of nonmetallic mineral products, which fell 1.7 percent. The production of motor vehicles and parts decreased 1.3 percent, and the indexes for the other major categories recorded smaller losses.
Capacity utilization for durable manufacturing fell 0.7 percentage point to 75.7 percent, a rate 1.3 percentage points below its long-run average.
The production of nondurable goods decreased 0.1 percent in April after having fallen 0.3 percent in March. Among the major components of nondurables, the indexes for apparel and leather and for petroleum and coal products each dropped about 1 1/2 percent in April. Losses of between 1/2 percent and 1 percent were posted by textile and product mills, by paper, and by printing and support. The indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products; chemicals; and plastics and rubber products each rose, but by less than 1/2 percent. Capacity utilization for nondurable manufacturing was little changed at 77.5 percent, a rate 3.2 percentage points below its long-run average.
Mining output increased 0.9 percent in April after having decreased 0.6 percent in March. In April, capacity utilization moved up 0.5 percentage point to 88.0 percent, a rate 0.7 percentage point above its long-run average. After increasing in each of the first three months of the year, the output of utilities declined 3.7 percent in April. The operating rate for utilities fell 3.0 percentage points to 79.4 percent and was 6.8 percentage points below its long-run average.
The complete April U.S. industrial production report—which includes historical charts and tables—is available online.