Industrial production fell 1.2 percent in August after having risen 0.5 percent in July. Hurricane Isaac restrained output in the Gulf Coast region at the end of August, reducing the rate of change in total industrial production by an estimated 0.3 percentage point. Manufacturing output decreased 0.7 percent in August after having risen 0.4 percent in both June and July. Precautionary shutdowns of oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in advance of the hurricane contributed to a drop of 1.8 percent in the output of mines for August. The output of utilities declined 3.6 percent. At 96.8 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in August was 2.8 percent above its year-earlier level.
The 1.2% fall is the largest monthly decline in industrial production since March of 2009, and brings the year over year changes down to a gain of only 2.8%. The year over year gain in July was 4.4%.
Capacity utilization suffered as well.
Capacity utilization for total industry moved down 1.0 percentage point to 78.2 percent, a rate 2.1 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2011) average.
Capacity utilization was last this low in November of 2011.