Durable Goods Capacity Utilization Contracts for Third Month
Durable goods capacity utilization was 76.1 percent in November 2015. The one-month rate of change, which was -1.4 percent in November, contracted for the fifth time in six months. The rate of contraction in November was the fastest since July 2013. The annual rate of change continued to grow, but the rate of growth decelerated for the eighth consecutive month. The annual rate of growth was its slowest since June 2014.
Since June 2008, the Gardner Business Index backlog index has been a very good leading indicator of durable goods capacity utilization. The annual rate of change for our backlog index contracted at an accelerating rate in October for the seventh month in a row. The trend in the backlog index shows that capacity utilization will likely be well into 2016.
We use capacity utilization as a leading indicator for a number of industries, although it is not tracked for as many industries as industrial production. You can see the trends in capacity utilization for a number of industries below.
Accelerating Growth: food/beverage processing;
Decelerating Growth: aerospace; automotive; construction materials; custom processors; durable goods; forming/fabricating (non-auto); furniture; petrochemical processors; plastics/rubber products; printing; textiles/clothing/leather goods
Decelerating Contraction: none
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