The Federal Reserve Board of Governors reported Aug. 16 that industrial production advanced 0.9% in July with stronger manufacturing leading the way.  Manufacturing output rose 0.6% in July following gains of 0.2% in both May and June.

Capacity utilization for manufacturing in July was 75.0%, a rate 10.6 percentage points above its trough in June 2009. This level, however, still sits 4.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2010) average.

Automotive products posted a jump of 5.9% to lead the increase in durable goods, as motor vehicle output rebounded after the supply chain disruptions that resulted from the earthquake in Japan.

The output of construction supplies increased 0.3% in July, its second small monthly gain following a large jump in May, when it rose 1.3%. Over the past 12 months, the index for construction supplies has moved up 4.4%. Nevertheless, the index in July remained more than 20% below its average level during 2007.

Another notable gain during July included the output of utilities, which increased 2.8% as the extreme heat during the month boosted air conditioning usage in many parts of the country.

 At 94.2% of its 2007 average, total industrial production for July was 3.7 percentage points above July 2010. The capacity utilization rate for total industry climbed to 77.5%, a rate 2.2 percentage points above the rate from a year earlier but 2.9 percentage points below its long-run average.