U.S. Manufacturing Capacity Increases for 16th Month in a Row

U.S. manufacturers increased their capacity for the 16th straight month in September, fresh evidence that a strengthening economy is helping to propel a U.S. industrial rebound.

The Trump Administration has prioritized increasing manufacturing investment in the U.S. with tax cuts and tariffs on a range of imported goods. Manufacturing capacity, tracked by the Federal Reserve, is a measure of how much production plants could achieve if running at full steam, a proxy for how much they are expanding their plants and productivity.

Manufacturing capacity began recovering from a steep decline in 2011, faded in 2014 and resumed a modest march higher in mid-2015. In September it was up 1.4% from a year earlier. The report suggests investment in U.S. manufacturing has been increasing at a steady pace over the past three years. In June it passed its 2008 peak.

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