Industrial Production Rises 0.4% in August

Log In

Industrial Production Rises 0.4% in August

According to the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Report, manufacturing output increased 1% during the month; industrial production was still 7.3% below its pre-pandemic February level.
Industrial Production August 2020

Total industrial production rose 0.4% in August after increasing 3% in July, according to the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Report, released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve.

Manufacturing output continued to improve in August, rising 1%, but the gains for most manufacturing industries have gradually slowed since June. Mining production fell 2.5% in August, as Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura caused sharp but temporary drops in oil and gas extraction and well drilling.

The output of utilities moved down 0.4%. At 101.4% of its 2012 average, the level of total industrial production was 7.7% lower in August than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3% in August to 71.4%, a rate that is 8.4% below its long-run (1972–2019) average but 7.3% above its low in April.

Most major market groups posted increases in August, though generally by less than their average monthly gains over the previous two months. A decline in the index for consumer durables reflected a step-down in the output of automotive products, while a small decrease in the output of materials resulted primarily from a storm-induced drop in oil and gas extraction that held down energy materials. The indexes for all of the other major market groups advanced, with gains of between 1% and 2% recorded by business equipment, defense and space equipment, construction supplies, and business supplies.

Manufacturing output increased 1% in August. After falling 20.3% between February and April, factory production has rebounded; even so, in August it was still 6.7% below its February level. The index for durable manufacturing rose 0.7%, as a decline in the output of motor vehicles and parts was more than offset by broad-based increases for other durable goods industries. The index for nondurables rose 1.2%, with gains of more than 3% for apparel and leather and for plastics and rubber products. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) increased 1.9%.

The index for utilities moved down 0.4% in August, with small decreases for both electric and gas utilities. Mining output fell 2.5% as a result of the drops in oil and gas drilling and extraction; coal and other types of mining posted gains.

Capacity utilization for manufacturing was 70.2% in August, 10.3% higher than its trough in April but still 8% below its long-run average. The operating rates for durable and nondurable manufacturing increased to 69.4% and 72.4%, respectively. The rate for durables was 15.5% above its April low but still 5.5% below its pre-pandemic February level; the rate for nondurables has risen 5.1% since April but was still 4% below its February level. The operating rate for mining moved down to 74.5% in August, the second-lowest level in the history of the series after the 72.6% rate recorded in May of this year.

Related Posts

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.