FRED recently added a large amount of data on industrial production, capacity, and capacity utilization. These series let you dig around to see how various industries are faring. Here we look at an industry that’s been in the news recently: oil and gas extraction. The graph makes it clear that a lot of capacity has been added since the boom in fracking. If you look closely, you’ll notice that capacity utilization (essentially a ratio of production to capacity) was over 100% in June 2014, an impossibility caused by the imprecision of the estimation procedure for both underlying series. Note that June 2014 is also the month when U.S. gasoline prices peaked.
How this graph was created: Search for “capacity oil gas,” and the three series you want should be among your top choices. Select the monthly, seasonally adjusted series and add them to the graph. Use the right axis for capacity utilization to make the graph easier to read.
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann
View on FRED, series used in this post: