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Diverging Measures of Capacity Utilization: An Explanation

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  • Norman Morin
  • John J Stevens

Abstract

In the wake of the recent recovery in manufacturing production, the capacity utilization rates published by the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) have rebounded much more slowly than those published by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). As a result, some observers have speculated that the manufacturing sector may have considerably less slack than is indicated by the FRB measures. Our view is that the two characterizations of manufacturing slack are not as incongruent as they first appear. This paper discusses the practical and conceptual differences between these measures of capacity utilization, and concludes that the recent divergence simply reflects the character of the latest business cycle.Business Economics (2005) 40, 46–54; doi:10.2145/20050404

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  • Norman Morin & John J Stevens, 2005. "Diverging Measures of Capacity Utilization: An Explanation," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 46-54, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:buseco:v:40:y:2005:i:4:p:46-54
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George L. Perry, 1973. "Capacity in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(3), pages 701-742.
    2. Norman J. Morin & John J. Stevens, 2004. "Estimating capacity utilization from survey data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Erdorf & Nicolas Heinrichs, 2011. "Co-movement of revenue: structural changes in the business cycle," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 25(4), pages 411-433, December.
    2. Nienke Oomes & Oksana Dynnikova, 2006. "The Utilization-Adjusted Output Gap; Is the Russian Economy Overheating?," IMF Working Papers 06/68, International Monetary Fund.

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