Industrial production decreased 0.1% in January 2011 after having risen 1.2% in December. In the manufacturing sector, output increased 0.3% in January after an upwardly revised gain of 0.9% in December. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory production rose 0.1% in January. The output of utilities fell 1.6% in January, as temperatures moved closer to normal after unseasonably cold weather boosted the demand for heating in December; the output of utilities advanced 4.1% in that month. In January, the output of mines declined 0.7%. At 95.1% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in January was 5.2% above its level of a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate for total industry edged down to 76.1%, a rate 4.4 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2010.
The production of consumer goods increased 0.1% in January. The index for consumer durables advanced 1.4%, and the index for consumer nondurables declined 0.3%. Within durables, the production of automotive products rose 3.0% and the output of miscellaneous consumer durables gained 0.6%, but the index for home electronics decreased 0.8% and the index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting fell 1.0%. Among consumer nondurables, the output of non-energy goods rose 0.2%, as solid gains in clothing, chemical products, and paper products were partly offset by a decline in the production of foods and tobacco products. The output of consumer energy products fell 2.0% in January after having risen 5.4% in December. The decline in energy production in January reflected drops both in the production of fuels and in residential sales by electric and natural gas utilities.
The output of business equipment rose 0.9% in January, and all of its major component indexes increased: Transit equipment advanced 1.2%, information processing equipment increased 0.6%, and industrial and other equipment gained 1.0%. The output of business equipment has risen in each of the past 11 months and in January stood 11.4% above its level 12 months earlier.
The production of defense and space equipment moved up 1.2% in January after having declined, on balance, over the previous four months.
Within nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies fell 0.2% in January, but it was 7.2% above its year-earlier level. The production of business supplies declined 0.3%; a decrease in the output of commercial energy products more than accounted for the loss.
The production of materials fell 0.4% in January after having risen 1.5% in December. A decline of 0.6% in nondurable materials and a decrease of 1.0% in energy materials were partially offset by an increase of 0.5% in durable materials. The gains in durable materials were widespread across its major components. Among nondurables, the index for chemical materials, which jumped 3.2% in December, fell 0.9% in January, and the indexes for textile materials and paper materials each recorded smaller declines.
Manufacturing output rose 0.3% in January after having increased 0.9% in December; the level of output in January was 5.5% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for manufacturing was 73.7%, a rate 5.4 percentage points below its average for the period from 1972 to 2010.
The output of durable goods moved up 0.6% in January. A large gain was recorded in the index for motor vehicles and parts; smaller increases were recorded for many other industries, including fabricated metal products, machinery, computer and electronic products, aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, furniture and related products, and miscellaneous manufacturing. Output decreased for wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; primary metals; and electrical equipment, appliances, and components.
Nondurable manufacturing declined 0.1% in January after having advanced 1.0% in December. The decline in production in January reflected decreases for food, beverage, and tobacco products; textile and product mills; printing and support products; and petroleum and coal products. The production of apparel and leather products moved up more than 1%, and the output indexes for paper, for chemicals, and for plastics and rubber products recorded smaller increases. The index for non-NAICS manufacturing industries, which comprises publishing and logging, rose 0.3%.
In January, mining output fell 0.7%, and capacity utilization declined to 88.1%, a rate 0.7 percentage point above its 1972-2010 average. After a sizable increase in December, the output of utilities dropped 1.6% in January, as production declined in both electric and natural gas utilities. The utilization rate for utilities fell to 81.2%.
Capacity utilization rates in January at industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization fell 0.8 percentage point to 88.6%, a rate 2.2 percentage points above its 1972-2010 average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization declined 0.3 percentage point to 73.2%, a rate 8.1 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization increased 0.3 percentage point to 74.7%, a rate 2.7 percentage points below its long-run average. Note: Preliminary Estimates of Industrial Capacity
The data in this release include preliminary estimates of industrial capacity for 2011. Measured fourth quarter to fourth quarter, total industrial capacity is projected to rise 1.2% this year after having declined 0.3% in 2010. Manufacturing capacity is estimated to increase 0.7% in 2011 following decreases of 0.2% last year and 1.2% in 2009. Mining capacity is estimated to rise 2.0% in 2011 after having been unchanged in 2010, and utilities capacity is projected to expand 3.6% this year, which is 2.1 percentage points faster than the rate of expansion recorded last year. These estimates will be updated with the publication on March 25, 2011, of the annual revision to industrial production, capacity, and capacity utilization.