Industrial Production Posted Largest Drop Ever in April

Washington, DC, May 15, 2020-Total industrial production fell 11.2% in April for its largest monthly drop in the 101-year history of the index, as the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic led many factories to slow or suspend operations throughout the month, according to the Federal Reserve. 

Manufacturing output dropped 13.7%, its largest decline on record, as all major industries posted decreases. The output of motor vehicles and parts fell more than 70%; production elsewhere in manufacturing dropped 10.3%. The indexes for utilities and mining decreased 0.9% and 6.1%, respectively. At 92.6% of its 2012 average, the level of total industrial production was 15.0% lower in April than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 8.3 percentage points to 64.9% in April, a rate that is 14.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average and 1.8 percentage points below its all-time (since 1967) low set in 2009.