U.S. Department of Commerce

Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization

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PURPOSE

The purpose of the Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization (QPC) is to provide quarterly statistics on the rates of capacity utilization for the U.S. manufacturing and publishing sectors.

COVERAGE

Manufacturing and publishing establishments with 5 or more production workers.

CONTENT

The QPC survey collects statistics on establishment operational status, value of actual production, estimated production attainable at full and emergency conditions, and reasons for operating at less than full production capacity. The survey also collects data on work patterns by shift. These data include days per week in operation, plant hours per week in operation, and weeks in operation in the quarter.

FREQUENCY

The QPC is conducted quarterly. It began as a pilot in 2007 and has continued since that time..

METHODS

The Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization includes approximately 7,500 manufacturing and publishing establishments selected from the Economic Census. Establishments are selected with probabilities proportionate to their value of shipments within each industry.

PRODUCTS

A report is released approximately 80 days from the completion of the quarter and displays capacity rates at 95 industry group levels defined by the survey sponsors. The rates are based on approximately 70% response.

USES

The Federal Reserve Board benchmarks monthly estimates of capacity output and utilization. In addition, analyze the change in use of capital, capital stocks and inputs related to capacity growth. The Department of Defense uses the data to assess readiness to meet demand for goods under selected national emergency scenarios.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The survey is the only source of quarterly statistics on U.S. industrial capacity.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Annual Survey of Manufactures

Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

Investment Plans Survey

Plant and Equipment Survey


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