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U.S. Industrial Production Declines in May

Wall Street Journal (06/15/15) Eric Morath

Industrial production fell in May, due to tepid global demand and a strong U.S. dollar. Industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2% from April, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, capacity utilization, a measure of slack in the industrial sector, declined two-tenths of a percentage point to 78.1%. Capacity utilization now is two percentage points below the long-run average recorded since 1972. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.2% increase in industrial production and a capacity utilization rate of 78.3%.

The fall in industrial production belies recent hiring and consumer spending data that suggest the economy has improved in recent months.