2010 Economic Calendar
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Industrial Production  
Released On 1/15/2010 9:15:00 AM For Dec, 2009
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Production - M/M change0.8 %0.6 %0.3 % to 1.1 %0.6 %
Capacity Utilization Rate - Level71.3 %71.5 %71.9 %71.6 % to 72.1 %72.0 %

Industrial production was strong in December at the headline level but the detail showed some weakening within manufacturing. Basically, we got a weather report for December. Growth in industrial production in December posted a sizable 0.6 percent gain, after a healthy 0.6 percent boost in November. The December rise equaled the consensus forecast for a 0.6 percent surge. The manufacturing component, however, fell 0.1 percent after surging 0.9 percent in November. For the latest month, utilities output spiked 5.9 percent in December on atypically cold weather while mining output rose 0.2 percent.

Within manufacturing, durables edged up 0.1 percent while nondurables dipped 0.1 percent. Within durables, major components were mixed with the strongest gain a 2.3 percent in increase in machinery and the largest loss a 4.6 percent drop in nonmetallic metals. Motor vehicle production was down as assemblies of motor vehicles declined in December to 7.06 million units annualized from 7.20 million in November. But motor vehicle parts were up. The weakness in nondurables was widespread but followed a very strong November.

Resource utilization is still low in the industrial sector but rising. The overall capacity utilization rate rose to 72.0 percent from 71.5 percent in November and came in marginally above market expectations for 71.9 percent.

On a year-on-year basis, industrial production in December improved to minus 2.0 percent from down 4.9 percent the month before.

Markets should focus on the negative manufacturing component rather than the strong headline number. The headline boost appears to reflect nothing more than higher utility usage due to atypically cold weather. Even though the December number should be seen a disappointing in terms of a weak manufacturing component, it is not disconcerting given that it followed such a strong November.

The traditional non-NAICS numbers for industrial production may differ marginally from the NAICS basis figures.

Consensus Outlook
Industrial production in November ramped up 0.8 percent, following a no change figure for October. The manufacturing component was particularly strong, spiking 1.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent dip in October. Utilities output declined 1.8 percent in November while mining output rebounded 2.1 percent. The overall capacity utilization rate rose to 71.3 percent from 70.6 percent in October. Looking ahead, the earlier-released indicators are mixed. On the negative side, aggregate production hours in manufacturing fell 0.4 percent in December and the Empire State manufacturing index fell back to just barely above break even. On the positive side, the ISM manufacturing and Philly Fed indexes rose further in positive territory.

The Federal Reserve's monthly index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities. The industrial sector, together with construction, accounts for the bulk of the variation in national output over the course of the business cycle. The production index measures real output and is expressed as a percentage of real output in a base year, currently 2012. The capacity index, which is an estimate of sustainable potential output, is also expressed as a percentage of actual output in 2012. The rate of capacity utilization equals the seasonally adjusted output index expressed as a percentage of the related capacity index.

The index of industrial production is available nationally by market and industry groupings. The major groupings are comprised of final products (such as consumer goods, business equipment and construction supplies), intermediate products and materials. The industry groupings are manufacturing (further subdivided into durable and nondurable goods), mining and utilities. The capacity utilization rate -- reflecting the resource utilization of the nation's output facilities -- is available for the same market and industry groupings.

Industrial production was also revised to NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) in the early 2000s. Unlike other economic series that lost much historical data prior to 1992, the Federal Reserve Board was able to reconstruct historical data that go back more than 30 years.  Why Investors Care
The industrial sector accounts for less than 20 percent of GDP. Yet, it creates much of the cyclical variability in the economy.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
The capacity utilization rate reflects the limits to operating the nation's factories, mines and utilities. In the past, supply bottlenecks created inflationary pressures as the utilization rate hit 84 to 85 percent.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2010 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/152/173/154/155/146/167/158/179/1510/1811/1612/15
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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