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Manufacturing Expands in April: 16 of 18 Industries Record Growth

Industrial Production Up 1.1% in April

Industrial production increased 1.1 percent in April. Output fell 0.6 percent in March and increased 0.4 percent in February; previously, industrial production was estimated to have been unchanged in both months.

At 97.4 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production for April was 5.2 percent above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry moved up to 79.2 percent, a rate 3.1 percentage points above its level from a year earlier but 1.1 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2011) average.

Manufacturing output increased 0.6 percent in April after having decreased 0.5 percent in March. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, which increased nearly 4 percent, manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent, and output for all but a few major industries increased. Capacity utilization for manufacturing in April moved up 0.3 percentage point to 77.9 percent, a rate 14.1 percentage points above its trough in June 2009 but still 0.9 percentage point below its long-run average.

Within manufacturing, the output of durable goods increased 1.3 percent in April after having moved down 0.3 percent in March. With the exception of wood products, all major categories of durable goods rose. The largest gains were recorded by motor vehicles and parts, computers and electronic products, aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, furniture and related products, and miscellaneous manufacturing.

The production of nondurable goods decreased 0.2 percent in April after having fallen 0.8 percent in March. Among the major components of nondurables, the most notable decrease in April was for petroleum and coal products, which dropped 2.6 percent. The largest gains were posted by the indexes for textile and product mills, for apparel and leather, for paper, and for printing and support.

Capacity utilization rates in April at industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 1 percentage point to 87.2 percent, a rate 0.9 percentage point above its long-run average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization increased 0.9 percentage point to 76.5 percent, a rate 4.6 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization increased 0.6 percentage point, to 78.8 percent, a rate 1.6 percentage points above its long-run average.

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