Industrial Production Declined 2.2% in February

Washington, DC, March 16, 2021-In February, total industrial production decreased 2.2%, according to the Federal Reserve. Manufacturing output and mining production fell 3.1% and 5.4%, respectively; the output of utilities increased 7.4%.

The severe winter weather in the south central region of the country in mid-February accounted for the bulk of the declines in output for the month. Most notably, some petroleum refineries, petrochemical facilities, and plastic resin plants suffered damage from the deep freeze and were offline for the rest of the month. Excluding the effects of the winter weather would have resulted in an index for manufacturing that fell about ½% and in an index for mining that rose about ½%. Both indexes would have remained below their pre-pandemic (February 2020) levels.

At 104.7% of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 4.2% lower than its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 1.7 percentage points in February to 73.8%, a rate that is 5.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.