Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nasty 'Capacity'

Well, if there's no rebound.......

The rate of capacity utilization for total industry declined in June to 68.0 percent, a level 12.9 percentage points below its average for 1972-2008. Prior to the current recession, the low over the history of this series, which begins in 1967, was 70.9 percent in December 1982.

68% is horrible--but it comports with what you can see by driving past manufacturing plants around the area and looking in their parking lots.

HT: CalcRisk


J. Strupp said...

....speaking of capacity utilization (or the lack thereof), Barry Eichengreen has been updating a working paper on Vox regarding the collapse in global output over the last few months. It's quite an impressive piece and gives you a bit of perspective on what the global economy is facing now compared to the 1930's. We often forget to view this recession in global terms and THAT'S where the really scary data is revealed.

The good news is that global output appears to be bottoming out thanks to Asian recovery, although I still am having trouble figuring out exactly who they are plannnig to sell all this stuff to in the future. It won't be us:

Dad29 said...

PRChina's tactic is "stimulus." They've ordered their banks to lend like crazy (or so I'm told by a China-watcher.)

Interesting--the PRC stimulus is NOT Gummint-centric, in that scenario.

J. Strupp said...

I'm not sure how state-controlled banks doing what the state tells them to do is not "Gummint-centric."

While the PRC's stimulus tactic appears to be working relatively well, the PRC continues to gobble up dollars at about the same clip as before the global financial meltdown. The PRC is behaving as if nothing has changed from before last fall (though they claim otherwise). Chinese real estate and securites prices are exploding like its business as usual. The PRC is, once again, calling for 10%+ GDP growth in the near future.....

Something to watch VERY closely in my opinion. i'll say it again: where exactly is this output going to be consumed? Domestically, with Chinese personal savings rates historically in the 20%-30% range? The U.S., which is in the middle of a decade long deleveraging process where real wages are flat or negative and savings rates are taking off like a rocket? The E.U.? Come on.

There's something wrong here. The PRC is looking bubbly all over the place.

Dad29 said...

The Government of PRC is not spending the money on Government workers.

The banks are lending to businesses, which will allow more hiring (see Oshkosh Truck, e.g.), which will allow more consumer spending.

A bunch of that stuff could well be going to PRC-orbit places in Africa which are selling natural resources to PRC.

But you're right; it will be interesting to watch.