Industrial Production Increased 1.4% in March

Washington, DC, April 15, 2021-In March, total industrial production increased 1.4%, according to the Federal Reserve. The gain in March followed a drop of 2.6% in February, which largely resulted from widespread outages related to severe winter weather in the south central region of the country. For the first quarter as a whole, total industrial production rose 2.5% at an annual rate. In March, manufacturing production and mining output increased 2.7% and 5.7%, respectively. The output of utilities dropped 11.4%, as the demand for heating fell because of a swing in temperatures from an unseasonably cold February to an unseasonably warm March.

At 105.6% of its 2012 average, total industrial production in March was 1.0% higher than its year-earlier level, but it was 3.4% below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 1.0 percentage point in March to 74.4%, a rate that is 5.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.