Industrial production index

Release Date: Usually released on a monthly basis, about 16 days after the month under review ends
Release Time: At 9.15am US Eastern Time
Released By: The Federal Reserve Bank


The Industrial Production Index is an economic indicator released by the board of the US Federal Reserve Bank, measuring the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of production output from manufacturers, mining companies, electricity, water supply and gas industries. This index typically excludes the construction industry. The Industrial Production Index is normally compiled to measure increases and decreases in production output.

The reference year for the Index is 2000 and the baseline level is set at 100. Data used in compiling this report is obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and trade associations. The data covers all physical inputs and outputs used in the production process. The Fischer Index formula is used to calculate the value of this index. It is also called the Factory Output Index.

Time of Release

The Industrial Production Index is usually released to the markets on a monthly basis, about 16 days after the month under review ends. The time of release is 9.15am US Eastern Time. The data is released on this webpage of the Federal Reserve Bank, and also on independent news feeds from Bloomberg and Thomas Reuters.

Interpreting the Data

The Industrial Production Index is a moderate impact news release which is not directly tradable. However, it can be used as a leading indicator of economic health. The levels of production in a manufacturing company have a correlation with employment levels and earnings of workers and can also be used as a barometer of the dynamics that operate in the business cycle.

Increase in industrial production levels is seen as USD positive while a reduction is USD negative. The figures must be analyzed in relation to the consensus figures. Higher than consensus is good for the USD while lower than expected figures is bad for the USD.

The graph of the Industrial Production Index in the US over the last few years is shown below:

US Industrial Production Index chart
US Industrial Production Index

The rising nature of the graph is an indication that the Industrial Production in the US has picked up from its 2012 lows, which reflect a gradual recovery of the industrial sectors covered by this index from the effects of the global financial crisis, as well as the positive effects that the quantitative easing programs of the US Federal has had on the general US economy.

Conclusion

Since the data is derived from several industries, it is possible to study the report to know which individual industrial sector is performing well and which is not. Growth patterns in individual industries can also be assessed using the data in the Industrial Production Index compilation.

It is important to note that the US is not the only country which measures Industrial Production as an index. Indices of industrial production are compiled in India, Malaysia and in all OECD Member countries, where they are used as a main short-term economic indicator in their own right due to the impact of fluctuations in the level of industrial activity on the remainder of the economy.