Capacity Utilization Improves for Second Month

In June, durable goods capacity utilization was 64.3%, which was the second month in a row the rate of capacity utilization moved higher. Compared with one year ago, capacity utilization contracted 15.1%, which was the second straight month that the month-over-month rate of change contracted at a slower rate. 

The annual change in durable goods capacity utilization contracted at an accelerating rate for the eighth month in a row, falling to -7.7% from -6.4%. June was the fastest rate of annual contraction since April 2010. As the annual rate of change tends to lead capital equipment consumption by seven-to-10 months, capacity utilization is signaling accelerating contraction in capital equipment spending through at least the third quarter of 2020 and likely through the remainder of the year.

The GBI: Metalworking backlog index tends to lead the annual rate of change in capacity utilization by seven-to-10 months. Since the pandemic began, the annual rate of contraction in the Backlog index has contracted at an accelerating rate. The Backlog index is indicating that the accelerating contraction in durable goods capacity utilization will continue through the summer.

Accelerating Growth: 

Decelerating Growth: 

Accelerating Contraction: aerospace, automotive, construction materials, custom processors, durable goods, electronics/computers, food/beverage processing, forming/fabricating (non-auto), furniture, machinery/equipment, petrochemical processors, plastics/rubber products, primary metals, printing, textiles/clothing/leather goods, wood/paper products

Decelerating Contraction: 


Top Shops

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World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more.

Gardner Business Index

A diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.