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Industrial Production Increases as Factories Reopen

Total industrial production increased 1.4% in May, as many factories resumed at least partial operations following suspensions related to COVID-19. Even so, total industrial production in May was 15.4% below its pre-pandemic level in February. Manufacturing output which fell sharply in March and April rose 3.8% in May; most major industries posted increases, with the largest gain registered by motor vehicles and parts. The indexes for mining and utilities declined 6.8% and 2.3%, respectively. At 92.6% of its 2012 average, the level of total industrial production was 15.3% lower in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.8 percentage points to 64.8% in May, a rate that is 15.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average and 1.9 percentage points below its trough during the Great Recession.

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