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Manufacturing Biweekly Update

April 15, 2011 [past updates]


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


Biweekly Notes

Factories boost output for 9th straight month

U.S. factories produced more consumer goods, business equipment and raw materials in March, boosting manufacturing activity for the ninth straight month. The Federal Reserve says output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month after edging up 0.1 percent in February. The previous month's results were dragged down by a weather-related drop in utility production. Factory production, the largest single segment of industrial production, increased 0.7 percent last month. Manufacturing has been a key driver of economic growth since the recession ended. That continued last month, even with supply chain disruptions stemming from the crisis in Japan. Overall industrial production has risen about 11 percent since its recession-low in June 2009. It is still 8 percent below its pre-recession peak, reached in September 2007.

(AP| Yahoo News| April 15, 2011)
Yahoo.com

AP analysis: US economic stress eased in February

Thanks to lower unemployment and fewer bankruptcies, the nation's economic stress edged down in February as all but five states strengthened from January, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis. Three states that were hit hardest by the recession and have suffered since — Florida, Arizona and Georgia — enjoyed the sharpest gains in February. Unemployment declined or remained the same in more than three-quarters of the nation's 3,141 counties and in 43 states, the AP's Economic Stress Index showed. Bankruptcies declined in more than half the counties and in 41 states. Still, foreclosures rose in more than half the counties and in 27 states. The AP's index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score signals more economic stress. The average county's stress score in February was 11, down from 11.2 in January. A year ago, the average score was 11.8. Under a rough rule of thumb, a county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11.

(AP|Yahoo.com |April 14, 2011)
news.yahoo.com

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U.S. Manufacturing Key Facts

Manufacturing Wage Rates

  • In March 2011, average hourly earnings in manufacturing were $18.92, up 0.05 percent from February 2011’s $18.91 (preliminary), and up 2.33 percent from March 2010’s $18.49.

    (BLS/DOL Employment data from “The Employment Situation, USDL 11-0436,” released April 1, 2011; next release is May 6, 2011)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

       

Manufacturing Wage Rates (Quarterly, Yearly)

  • In the fourth-quarter of 2010, hourly compensation from previous quarter, annual rate (revised) was up 3.1 percent in total manufacturing, up 3.0 percent in durable manufacturing and up 2.9 percent in nondurable manufacturing.

  • In the fourth-quarter of 2010, hourly compensation of all manufacturing workers increased 1.5 percent, compared to a 5.2 percent increase during the fourth-quarter of 2009. Real hourly compensation in the total manufacturing sector increased 0.3 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2010, compared to 3.6 percent increase in the fourth-quarter of 2009.

    (BLS/DOL Productivity data from “Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2010, Revised,” USDL 11-0270, released March 3, 2011; next release is May 5, 2011)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/prod2.pdf

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Manufacturing Profits

  • In the fourth quarter of 2010, manufacturing profits decreased 10.3 percent, or $27.7 billion, to $241.5 billion from $269.2 billion in the third quarter. Compared with fourth quarter profits of 2009, manufacturing profits were up $70.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

  • Fourth quarter 2010 profits for all non-financial industries (manufacturing being a subcategory) decreased $147.9 billion from the third quarter of 2010 to $885.4 billion.

    (BEA/DOC GDP data from “Gross Domestic Product and Corporate Profits, BEA 11-13,” released March 25, 2011; next release is May 26, 2011)
    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2011/pdf/gdp4q10_3rd.pdf

       

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Manufacturing Employment

  • In March 2011, manufacturing employment went up, with an increase of 17,000 jobs.

  • In March, durable goods manufacturing gained 17,000 jobs with increase in fabricated metal products (8,200), machinery (4,900), transportation equipment (6,100), primary metals (1,100), nonmetallic mineral products (500), wood products (400), and computer and electronic products (300). Meanwhile, job losses occurred in electrical equipment and appliances (-1,900). miscellaneous manufacturing (-1,400), and furniture and related products (-300).

  • In March, the employment level in nondurable goods manufacturing sector remained unchanged. However, job gains occurred in plastics and rubber products (1,300), paper and paper products (1,000), printing and related support activities (800), petroleum and coal products (800), chemicals (800), leather and allied products (300), and textile mills (100). Meanwhile, job losses occurred in food manufacturing (-2,800), beverages and tobacco products (-1,400), apparel (-700), and textile product mills (-100).

  • The manufacturing employment of 11.7 million workers represents 8.9 percent of total non-farm employment.

    (BLS/DOL Employment data from “The Employment Situation, USDL-11-0436,” released April 1, 2011; next release is May 6, 2011) http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

       

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Manufacturing Production updated

  • In March 2011, manufacturing production was up 0.7 percent from previous month and was 6.6 percent above its year-earlier level.

  • Production of durable goods was up 1.0 percent from the previous month. The durable industries that registered increases in output included motor vehicles and parts (3.0 percent), nonmetallic mineral products (2.3 percent), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (1.7 percent), wood products (1.6 percent), fabricated metal products (1.1 percent), electrical equip., appliances, and components (0.8 percent), furniture and related products (0.5 percent), computer and electronic products (0.5 percent), machinery production (0.3 percent), and primary metal (0.1 percent). The durable industries that registered decreases in output included miscellaneous (-1.2 percent).

  • Production of nondurable goods was up 0.5 percent from the previous month. The nondurable manufacturing industries that registered increases in output included paper (1.9 percent), chemicals (1.5 percent), plastics and rubber products (0.2 percent), and petroleum and coal products (0.2 percent). The nondurable industries that registered decreases in output included textile and product mills (-2.6 percent), apparel and leather (-2.2 percent), printing and support (-0.7 percent), and food, beverage, and tobacco products (-0.2 percent).

  • Other manufacturing industries (non-NAICS) was down 0.1 percent.

    (Federal Reserve Statistical data from “Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, G17 (419),” released April 15, 2011; next release is May 17, 2011)
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/g17.pdf

       

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Manufacturing Capacity Utilization updated

  • In March 2011, manufacturing industries (NAICS based) operated at 75.8 percent of capacity, 3.0 percentage points below their 1972-2010 average of 78.8 percent and 0.5 percent points higher than their revised capacity utilization level in February 2011.

  • In March 2011, durable manufacturing, capacity utilization operated at 73.9 percent capacity, up 0.6 points from previous month (revised) to 73.9 percent. Increased capacity utilization was registered in motor vehicles and parts (1.8 points), nonmetallic mineral products (1.3 points), wood products (1.2 points), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (1.2 points), fabricated metal products (0.9 points), electrical equip., appliances, and components (0.8 points), furniture and related products (0.4 points), machinery (0.3 points). Decreased capacity utilization was registered in miscellaneous (-1.0 points), and computer and electronic products (-0.2 points). There was no change in primary metals.

  • In March 2011, non-durable manufacturing, capacity utilization increased 0.4 percentage points in from previous month (revised) to 77.9 percent. Increased capacity utilization was registered in paper (1.7 points), chemicals (1.1 points), plastics and rubber products (0.4 points), and petroleum and coal products (0.2 points), Decreased capacity utilization was registered in textile and product mills (1.6 points), apparel and leather (-1.5 points), printing and support (-0.4 points), and food, beverage, and tobacco products (-0.2 points).

  • The index for other manufacturing industries (non-NAICS) was unchanged.

    (Federal Reserve Statistical data from “Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, G17 (419),” released April 15, 2011; next release is May 17, 2011)
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/g17.pdf

       

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Manufacturing Productivity

  • Manufacturing sector productivity (revised) rose 5.9 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2010, as output increased 4.4 percent and hours decreased 1.4 percent. Productivity was up 4.8 percent in the durable goods industries and up 8.0 percent in the nondurable goods industries. Unit labor costs in manufacturing decreased 2.7 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2010 and fell 2.7 percent over the last four quarters.

  • In durable goods industries, productivity (revised) was up 4.8 percent from previous quarter, as output increased 4.7 percent, while hours worked remained the same.

  • In nondurable goods industries, productivity (revised) was up 8.0 percent from previous quarter, as output increased 4.0 percent, while hours worked decreased 3.7 percent.

    (BLS/DOL Productivity data from “Productivity and Costs, Fourth-Quarter and Annual Averages 2010, Revised,” USDL 11-0270, released March 3, 2011; next release is May 5, 2011)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/prod2.pdf

       

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Manufacturing Trade updated

  • Manufactured goods exports in February were 0.4 percent higher than the previous month. Imports were down 3.2 percent.

  • Year to date February 2011, U.S. manufactured goods exports accounted for 76.3 percent of all U.S. exports of goods, compared with 80.1 percent a year ago.

  • The year to date February 2011 trade deficit in manufactured goods of $69.7 billion was $19.8 billion more when compared with $49.8 billion a year ago.

    (Census/BEA/DOC Foreign Trade Statistics data from “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, CB11-66, BEA11-15, FT-900(11-02),” released April 12, 2011; next release is May 11, 2011)
    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/ft900.pdf

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Manufactured Goods Shipments

  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in February, up four consecutive months, increased $0.6 billion or 0.3 percent to $203.0 billion, unchanged from the previously published increase. This followed a 0.2 percent January increase.

  • In February, shipments increased in machinery (2.3 percent), transportation equipment (1.4 percent), primary metals (1.3 percent), and electrical equipment, appliances, and components (0.3 percent). Shipments decreased in computers and electronic products (-2.2 percent), nonmetallic mineral products (-1.3 percent), wood products (-0.7 percent).miscellaneous durable goods (-0.7 percent), and furniture and related products (-0.1 percent). There was no change in fabricated metal products.

    (Census Bureau/DOC data from “Full Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3-2(11)-02, CB11-57),” March 31, 2011; next release is April 27, 2011)
    http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3/

       

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Manufactured Goods Prices updated

  • In March 2011, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods, except foods and energy, increased by 0.3 percent compared to previous month.

  • The index for finished energy goods was up 2.6 percent from previous month.

  • A seasonally adjusted increase of price from February to March was registered in liquefied petroleum gas (6.1 percent), gasoline price (5.7 percent), home heating oil and distillates (2.7 percent), no. 2 diesel fuel (0.7 percent), and residential electric power (0.1 percent). A decrease of price was registered in residential gas (-1.2 percent).

    (BLS/DOL data from “Producer Price Indexes, USDL 11-0512,” released April 14, 2011; next release is May 12, 2011)
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ppi.pdf

       

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Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Index  

  • Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 22nd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

  • Manufacturing continued its rapid growth in March as the PMI registered 61.2 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point when compared to February's reading of 61.4 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 March were: Supplier Deliveries increased 3.7 points to 63.1, and Production increased 2.7 points to 69.0. Meanwhile, New Orders decreased 4.7 points to 63.3, Employment decreased 1.5 points to 63.0, and Inventories decreased 1.4 points to 47.4.

    U.S. Industries Reporting Growth in March 2011

    • Apparel, Leather & Allied Products
    • Transportation Equipment
    • Fabricated Metal Products
    • Machinery
    • Textile Mills
    • Computer & Electronic Products
    • Furniture & Related Products
    • Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components
    • Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products
    • Paper Products
    • Petroleum & Coal Products
    • Chemical Products
    • Plastics & Rubber Products
    • Miscellaneous Manufacturing
    • Printing & Related Support Activities

    (Institute for Supply Management, data released April 1, 2011; next release is May 2, 2011)
    http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?navItemNumber=12942

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