Release Date: Monthly
Release Coverage: Prior Month's Data
Released By: Federal Reserve Board
Official Release (weekly): http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/Current/default.htm
Industrial production measures the amount of output from the manufacturing, mining, electric and gas industries. The reference year for the index is 2002 at a base level of 100. The index is designed to measure changes in the level of output in the industrial sector of the economy. It is grouped by both products (consumer goods, business equipment, intermediate goods, and materials) and industry (manufacturing, mining, and utilities).
WHAT DR. ED SAYS:
While the industrial sector of the economy represents only about 20 percent of GDP, it is closely embedded into the services sector, such that changes in this index provide useful information on the current growth of GDP. The level of industrial production provides information on the overall level of output, which can represent growth within the sector. If you would like to look further into each specific industry, you can review the report from the Federal Reserve. In this manner, you may zero in on the industry in your area that has been making production cuts and potentially may have layoffs or closures to follow.
Industrial production indicates not only trends in the manufacturing sector, but also whether resource utilization is strained enough to anticipate inflation. Industrial production also helps to define the cyclical movements of the economy.