Manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent, its sixth consecutive monthly increase, compared to 0.5 percent rise in January. The production of durables increased 0.6 percent. The gain was led by advances of more than 1 percent for nonmetallic mineral products, fabricated metal products, and machinery. The only substantial losses within durables, about 1.5 percent each were recorded for the electrical equipment, appliance, and component industry and the furniture and related products industry. The index for nondurables rose 0.4 percent; gains of more than 1 percent were recorded by paper and by plastics and rubber products, while the only losses were posted by textile and product mills and by chemicals. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) fell 0.5 percent.
The mining output jumped 2.7 percent in February after moving up 2.2 percent in January.
In contrast, utilities fell 5.7 percent, as continued unseasonably warm weather further reduced demand for heating.
At 104.7 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 0.3 percent above its level of a year earlier.
Capacity utilization for the industrial sector declined 0.1 percentage point in February to 75.4 percent, a rate that is 4.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average. The rates for nondurables and for other manufacturing (publishing and logging), at 75.4 percent and 60.5 percent, respectively, remain significantly below their long-run averages. Utilization for mining jumped 2.1 percentage points to 80.5 percent but is still well below its long-run average. The operating rate for utilities fell 4.4 percentage points to 70.9 percent, its lowest recorded level.