The Federal Reserve Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report was far weaker than expected this month.

Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in February; for the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3 percent at an annual rate. Manufacturing production was unchanged in March after declining in both January and February. The index for utilities rose 0.2 percent, while mining output moved down 0.8 percent. At 110.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 2.8 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in March to 78.8 percent, a rate that is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2018) average.

Auto production fell 2.5%. In the first quarter, auto production fell 12.8% at an annualized rate, the biggest decline in almost eight years.

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

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