Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization for December 2009

The Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for December 2009 was released last Friday, but it's significant and I want to cover it for completeness sake, even though this post is quite late.


Firstly industrial production increased 0.6%, but this is due to a 5.9% increase in heating utilities due to freezing cold weather conditions. So, in other words, this is not a great report, it does tell you many people froze their ass off during December.

The above 2 graphs are from the official start of this recession. As one can clearly see, we are nowhere near pre-recession levels.

Notice that Industrial Production (total) is down 9.6% for the year. That's this year, from 2008, when the U.S. was 12 months into a recession. Q1 industrial production dropped 19%, Q2 was another drop of 10.4%. Q3 and Q4 showed increased of 6.9% and 7.0% respectively. Utlization is down from 2008 as well, from 77.6 to 70.2.

Manufacturing production dropped 0.1% in December.



Construction, February 2008 until February 2009, is down 18.5%.

Also interesting is the revisions from previous months, mainly because subcategories are graphed that normally are not.

The change in the overall index was revised up in October, but it was revised down in November; for the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production increased at an annual rate of 7.0 percent.

The revision details are attached to this post and they are in a separate document. Scroll down to page 12 and there you will see the charts of a host of revisions, with most following the general curve but some obviously much steeper than originally described, during 2008.

Finally, the gray bars in the above graphs indicate a recession period. But is this really true that the recession ended? We except a GDP blip for Q4 2009, but the time period defined for this recession is not a foregone conclusion.

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