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Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization

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The purpose of the Annual Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization (PCU) is to provide annual statistics on the rates of capacity utilization for the U.S. manufacturing sector. This annual survey was discontinued after the 2006 survey year.


Manufacturing establishments with 5 or more paid employees.


The PCU survey presents statistics on establishment operational status, value of actual production, estimated production attainable at full and emergency conditions, reasons for operating at less than full production capacity, time required to reach full production, and time required to reach emergency production levels. The survey also collects data on work patterns by shift. These data include days per week in operation, plant hours per week in operation, weeks in operation in the quarter, total and temporary production workers and hours worked.


The survey has been conducted from 1997 to the present. Previously the survey was conducted annually from 1973 to 1988 and biennially from 1989 through 1996.


The Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization includes approximately 17,000 manufacturing and publishing establishments selected from the Economic Census. Establishments are selected with probabilities proportionate to their value of shipments within each industry. Reported data are for activities taking place during the fourth quarter of the survey year.


Two publications result from the survey, an Advance and Final report. The Advance report is a preliminary report that displays capacity utilization rates, both full and emergency, at the U.S. and 3-digit NAICS subsector levels. The Final report is more detailed and displays capacity utilization rates, both full and emergency, at the U.S., 3, 4, 5 and 6-digit NAICS industry levels. The Advance report is produced based on approximately 75% response and the Final is based on approximately 83%. The Final publication is produced approximately 12 months from the end of the reference year.


Federal Reserve Board benchmark monthly estimates of capacity output and utilization. In addition, analyze change in use of capital, capital stocks and inputs related to capacity growth.

Defense Logistic Agency assess industry readiness to meet demand for goods under national emergency scenarios.

International Trade Administration identifying industries with potentially adverse import penetration.


Annual Survey of Manufactures

Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization

Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

Investment Plans Survey

Plant and Equipment Survey




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