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Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Declines

April 15, 2009

Released today were Industrial Product, and Capacity Utilization numbers, and the declines continued:

Industrial production fell 1.5 percent in March after a similar decrease in February. For the first quarter as a whole, output dropped at an annual rate of 20.0 percent, the largest quarterly decrease of the current contraction. At 97.4 percent of its 2002 average, output in March fell to its lowest level since December 1998 and was nearly 13 percent below its year-earlier level. Production in manufacturing moved down 1.7 percent in March and has registered five consecutive quarterly decreases.

The capacity utilization rate for total industry fell to 69.3%, which is a historic low, which began in 1967, and well below the 73.5% mark hit during the contraction in 2001-2002.

The bright spot is that the montly decline was only .5%. Since October, the monthly declines have been around 1%+, so we could begin to see some leveling off over the next few months barring any dramatic financial problems in the markets.


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