U.S. Industrial production fell another 1.8% in January
, following several months of steep declines. And it would have been worse if cold weather in the North East hadn't lifted energy production (utilities). Manufacturing alone fell 2.5% while the December number was downwardly revised by 0.7%. As a result the index level fell below 100. 100 represent the lowest annual average in the previous cycle, which is to say 2002. Thus, the entire increase in production during the previous boom has been swept away.
Another detail which illustrates the depth of the manufacturing slump is that capacity utilization fell to 68%, lower than the 68.5% low reached in the 1982 recession
. Capacity utilization is thus at its lowest level since the 1930s.