Trade Statistics Home|IAN Home

Manufacturing Biweekly Update

March 16, 2012 [past updates]


U.S. Manufacturing Trends Current Period Year-to-Date
Wage Rates nochange up
Profits up up
Employment up up
Production up up
Capacity Utilization up up
Productivity down up
Exports down up
Goods Shipments up up


Biweekly Notes

U.S. Industrial production was little changed in February

Industrial production in the U.S. was little changed in February, restrained by a slowdown in manufacturing and a decline in natural gas extraction. The output last month at factories, mines and utilities compared with a median projection for a 0.4 percent gain in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Production in January was revised to a 0.4 percent increase, initially reported as no change, data from the Federal Reserve showed today in Washington. Manufacturing (IPMGCHNG), which makes up about 75 percent of total output, rose at the slowest pace in three months. Higher energy costs, smaller inventory rebuilding and slower demand for U.S. exports may be tempering production. At the same time, stronger retail sales and corporate investment in new equipment will probably sustain growth in the industry at the forefront of the expansion. Auto production cooled in February after surging a month earlier, while the output of consumer goods was little changed, today’s report showed. Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.
(Bloomberg |March 16, 2012)
[Read More]

U.S. jobless claims fall, manufacturing holds up

U.S. economic growth showed signs of becoming more self-sustaining as the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing activity in the Northeast picked up this month. But the impact of higher oil prices also was starting to be seen in data on Thursday. Producer prices racked up their biggest increase in five months in February, while manufacturers in New York State reported a surge in input costs in March. The recent gains in oil and gasoline prices have raised concerns the higher costs could start to squeeze businesses and consumers and put a dent in the recovery. Still, producer prices last month did not rise as much as economists had expected, and underlying inflation pressures were contained. Thursday's initial claims data for state unemployment benefits was further evidence of an improving labor market after the jobless rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent in February. Initial claims dropped 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000 last week, the U.S. Labor Department said, taking claims back to a four-year low reached in February.
(Reuters| March 15, 2012)
[Read More]

Back to Top

U.S. Manufacturing Key Facts

Manufacturing Wage Rates UPDATED

  • In February 2012, average hourly earnings in manufacturing were $19.04 (preliminary), unchanged from previous month, but up 0.85 percent from February 2011’s $18.88.

    (BLS/DOL Employment data from “The Employment Situation, USDL 12-0402,” released March 9, 2012; next release is April 6, 2012)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

       

Manufacturing Wage Rates (Quarterly, Yearly) UPDATED

  • In the fourth-quarter of 2011, hourly compensation from previous quarter, annual rate (revised) was up 1.9 percent in total manufacturing, up 0.6 percent in durable manufacturing and up 3.8 percent in nondurable manufacturing.

  • In the fourth-quarter of 2011, hourly compensation of all manufacturing workers increased 1.7 percent, compared to a 1.2 percent increase during the fourth-quarter of 2010. Real hourly compensation in the total manufacturing sector decreased -1.6 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2011, compared with no change in the fourth-quarter of 2010.

    (BLS/DOL Productivity data from “Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter 2011, Revised” USDL 12-0401, released March 7, 2012; next release is May 3, 2012)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/prod2.pdf

Back to Top


Manufacturing Profits

  • In the third quarter of 2011, manufacturing profits increased 7.32 percent, or $18.3 billion, to $268.2 billion from $249.9 billion in the first quarter. Compared with third quarter profits of 2010, manufacturing profits were up $41.0 billion in the third quarter of 2011.

  • Third quarter 2011 profits for all non-financial industries (manufacturing being a subcategory) increased $22 billion from the second quarter of 2011 to $967.9 billion.

    (BEA/DOC GDP data from “Gross Domestic Product, BEA 11-63,” released December 22, 2011; next release is March 29, 2011)
    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2011/pdf/gdp3q11_3rd.pdf

       

Back to Top


Manufacturing Employment UPDATED

  • In February 2012, manufacturing employment went up, with an increase of 31,000 jobs.

  • In February, durable goods manufacturing gained 31,000 jobs with increases in fabricated metal products (11,400), transportation equipment (8,300), machinery (4,500), furniture and related products (3,100), electrical equipment and appliances (2,000), nonmetallic mineral products (1,900), primary metals (1,200), and wood products (1,100). However, job loss occurred in miscellaneous manufacturing (-1,600), and computer and electronic products (-600).

  • In February, there was no change of employment in nondurable goods manufacturing. However, jobs increased in beverages and tobacco products (2,300), plastics and rubber products (1,700), food manufacturing (1,200), and textile product mills (500). However, job losses occurred in printing and related support activities (-2,500), paper and paper products (-1,300), chemicals (-900), petroleum and coal products (-600), apparel (-300), leather and allied products (-100), and textile mills (-100).

  • The manufacturing employment of 11.9 million workers represents 9.0 percent of total non-farm employment.

    (BLS/DOL Employment data from “The Employment Situation, USDL 12-0402,” released March 9, 2012; next release is April 6, 2012) http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

       

Back to Top

Manufacturing Production UPDATED

  • In February 2012, manufacturing production was up 0.3 percent from previous month and was 5.1 percent above its year-earlier level.

  • Production of durable goods was up 0.4 percent from the previous month. The durable industries that registered increases in output included fabricated metal products (1.8 percent), electrical equip., appliances, and components (1.6 percent), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (1.6 percent) nonmetallic mineral products (1.2 percent), furniture and related products (0.4 percent), miscellaneous (0.4 percent), computer and electronic products (0.2 percent), and wood products (0.1 percent). The durable industries that registered decreases in output included primary metals (-1.2 percent), motor vehicles and parts (-1.1 percent), and machinery (-0.3 percent).

  • Production of nondurable goods was up -0.1 percent from the previous month. The nondurable manufacturing industries that registered increases in output included petroleum and coal products (1.4 percent), plastics and rubber products (1.3 percent), paper (0.7 percent), textile and product mills (0.4 percent), and food, beverage and tobacco products (0.3 percent). The nondurable industries that registered decreases in output included chemicals (-0.8 percent), and apparel and leather (-0.7 percent). There was no change of production in printing and support.

  • Other manufacturing industries (non-NAICS) was down (-0.3 percent).

    (Federal Reserve Statistical data from “Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, G17 (419),” released March 16, 2012; next release is April 17, 2012)
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/g17.pdf

       

Back to Top


Manufacturing Capacity Utilization UPDATED

  • In February 2012, manufacturing industries (NAICS based) operated at 77.9 percent of capacity, 0.2 percent above the revised capacity utilization level from previous month, and 0.8 percentage points below their 1972-2011 average of 78.7 percent.

  • In February 2012, durable manufacturing, capacity utilization operated at 77.6 percent capacity, up 0.2 points from previous month. Increased capacity utilization was registered in fabricated metal products (1.6 points), electrical equip., appliances, and components (1.4), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (1.2 points), nonmetallic mineral products (0.9 points), furniture and related products (0.4 points), wood products (0.2 points), and miscellaneous (0.1 points). Decreased capacity utilization was registered in motor vehicles and parts (-0.8 points), primary metals (-0.8 points), computer and electronic products (-0.4 points), and machinery (-0.3 points).

  • In February 2012, non-durable manufacturing, capacity utilization operated 78.3 percent capacity, up 0.1 percent from the previous month. Increased capacity utilization was registered in petroleum and coal products (1.1 points), plastics and rubber products (0.9 points), paper (0.7 points), textile and product mills (0.4 points), printing and support (0.1 points), and food, beverage, and tobacco products (0.1 points). Decreased capacity utilization was registered in chemicals (-0.8 points), and apparel and leather (-0.4 points).

  • The index for other manufacturing industries (non-NAICS) was down (-0.1 points).

    (Federal Reserve Statistical data from “Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, G17 (419),” released March 16, 2012; next release is April 17, 2012)
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/g17.pdf

       

Back to Top


Manufacturing Productivity UPDATED

  • Manufacturing sector productivity was down (-0.1 percent) in the fourth-quarter of 2011, as output increased (4.8 percent) and hours increased (4.9 percent). Productivity was up (0.8 percent) in the durable goods industries and up (0.5 percent) in the nondurable goods industries. Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased (2.0 percent) in the fourth-quarter of 2011, and there was no change over the last four quarters.

  • In durable goods industries, productivity was up (0.8 percent) from previous quarter, as output increased (8.5 percent), while hours worked increased (7.6 percent).

  • In nondurable goods industries, productivity was up (0.5 percent) from previous quarter, as output increased (1.2 percent), and hours worked increased (0.7 percent).

    (BLS/DOL Productivity data from “Productivity and Costs, Fourth-Quarter 2011, Revised,” USDL 12-0401, released March 7, 2012; next release is May 3, 2012)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/prod2.pdf

       

Back to Top


Manufacturing Trade UPDATED

  • Manufactured goods exports in January 2012 were 6.88 percent lower than the previous month. Imports were 0.09 percent lower.

  • In 2012, U.S. manufactured goods exports accounted for 85.9 percent of all U.S. exports of goods, compared with 83.8 percent a year ago.

  • The 2012 trade deficit in manufactured goods of $40.0 billion was $3.6 billion more when compared with $36.4 billion a year ago.

    (USA Trade Online, U.S. Census Bureau, released March 9, 2012; Next release is April 12, 2012)
    http://www.usatradeonline.gov/

Back to Top


Manufactured Goods Shipments UPDATED

  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in January, up two consecutive months, increased $0.8 billion or 0.4 percent to $208.0 billion, unchanged from the previously published increase. This followed a 2.0 percent December increase.

  • In January, shipments increased in transportation equipment (6.1 percent), wood products (4.1 percent), furniture and related products (1.6 percent), electrical equipment, appliances, and components (1.4 percent), miscellaneous durable goods (1.1 percent), and fabricated metal products (0.9 percent). However, shipments decreased in machinery (-5.9 percent), primary metals (-2.8 percent), computers and electronic products (-0.8 percent), and nonmetallic mineral products (-0.2 percent).

    (Census Bureau/DOC data from “Advance Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3-2(12)-1, CB12-37),” March 5, 2012; next release is April 3, 2012)
    http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3/

       

Back to Top


Manufactured Goods Prices UPDATED

  • In February 2012, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods, except foods and energy, increased by 0.2 percent compared to previous month.

  • The index for finished energy goods was up 1.3 percent from previous month.

  • A seasonally adjusted decrease in price from January to February was registered in liquefied petroleum gas (-14.0 percent), and residential gas (-2.8 percent). An increase in price was registered in home heating oil and distillates (+5.3 percent), gasoline price (+4.3 percent), no. 2 diesel fuel (+4.1 percent), and residential electric power (+0.6 percent).

    (BLS/DOL data from “Producer Price Indexes, USDL 12-0451,” released March 15, 2012; next release is April 12, 2012)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ppi.pdf

       

Back to Top


Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Index  

  • Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 31st consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 33rd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

  • Manufacturing continued its growth in February as the PMI registered 52.4 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points when compared to January's reading of 54.1 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

  • The percentage-point changes in the components of the PMI in February were Supplier Deliveries, -4.6 points decrease to 49.0; New Orders -2.7 points decrease to 54.9; Employment, -1.1 points decrease to 53.2; Production, -0.4 points decrease to 55.3. There was no change in Inventories at 49.5;

    U.S. Industries Reporting Growth in February 2012

    • Apparel, Leather & Allied Products
    • Machinery
    • Primary Metals
    • Transportation Equipment
    • Petroleum & Coal Products
    • Fabricated Metal Products
    • Paper Products
    • Computer & Electronic Products
    • Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products
    • Miscellaneous Manufacturing
    • Chemical Products

    (Institute for Supply Management, data released March 1, 2012; next release is April 2, 2012)
    http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?navItemNumber=12942

Back to Top



Prepared by
Director of Office of Trade Industry Information
Manufacturing and Services
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
(202) 482-4691