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Capacity utilization or capacity utilisation is the extent to which an enterprise or a nation uses its installed productive capacity. It is the relationship between output that is produced with the installed equipment, and the potential output which could be produced with it, if capacity was fully used.
Productive capacity is the maximum possible output of an economy. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), no agreed-upon definition of maximum output exists. UNCTAD itself proposes: "the productive resources, entrepreneurial capabilities and production linkages which together determine the capacity of a country to produce goods and services." The term may also be applied to individual resources or assets; for instance the productive capacity of an area of farmland.
Output in economics is the "quantity of goods or services produced in a given time period, by a firm, industry, or country", whether consumed or used for further production. The concept of national output is essential in the field of macroeconomics. It is national output that makes a country rich, not large amounts of money.
One of the most used definitions of the "capacity utilization rate" is the ratio of actual output to the potential output. But potential output can be defined in at least two different ways.
In economics, potential output refers to the highest level of real gross domestic product that can be sustained over the long term.
One is the "engineering" or "technical" definition, according to which potential output represents the maximum amount of output that can be produced in the short run with the existing stock of capital. Thus, a standard definition of capacity utilization is the (weighted) average of the ratios between the actual output of firms and the maximum that could be produced per unit of time, with existing plant and equipment (see Johanson 1968). Output could be measured in physical units or in market values, but normally it is measured in market values.
However, as output increases and well before the absolute physical limit of production is reached, most firms might well experience an increase in the average cost of production—even if there is no change in the level of plant & equipment used. For example, higher average costs can arise because of the need to operate extra shifts, to undertake additional plant maintenance, and so on.
An alternative approach, sometimes called the "economic" utilization rate, is, therefore, to measure the ratio of actual output to the level of output beyond which the average cost of production begins to rise. In this case, surveyed firms are asked by how much it would be practicable for them to raise production from existing plant and equipment, without raising unit costs (see Berndt & Morrison 1981). Typically, this measure will yield a rate around 10 percentage points higher than the "engineering" measure, but time series show the same movement over time.
In economic statistics, capacity utilization is normally surveyed for goods-producing industries at plant level. The results are presented as an average percentage rate by industry and economy-wide, where 100% denotes full capacity. This rate is also sometimes called the "operating rate". If the operating rate is high, this is called "full capacity", while if the operating rate is low, a situation of "excess capacity" or "surplus capacity" exists. The observed rates are often turned into indices. Capacity utilization is much more difficult to measure for service industries.
Economic statistics is a topic in applied statistics that concerns the collection, processing, compilation, dissemination, and analysis of economic data. It is also common to call the data themselves 'economic statistics', but for this usage see economic data. The data of concern to economic statistics may include those of an economy of region, country, or group of countries. Economic statistics may also refer to a subtopic of official statistics for data produced by official organizations. Analyses within economic statistics both make use of and provide the empirical data needed in economic research, whether descriptive or econometric. They are a key input for decision making as to economic policy. The subject includes statistical analysis of topics and problems in microeconomics, macroeconomics, business, finance, forecasting, data quality, and policy evaluation. It also includes such considerations as what data to collect in order to quantify some particular aspect of an economy and of how best to collect in any given instance.
There has been some debate among economists about the validity of statistical measures of capacity utilization, because much depends on the survey questions asked, and on the valuation principles used to measure output. Also, the efficiency of production may change over time, due to new technologies.
For example, Michael Perelman has argued in his 1989 book Keynes, Investment Theory and the Economic Slowdown: The Role of Replacement Investment and q-Ratios that the US Federal Reserve Board measure is just not very revealing. Prior to the early 1980s, he argues, American business carried a great deal of extra capacity. At that time, running close to 80% would indicate that a plant was approaching capacity restraints. Since that time, however, firms scrapped much of their most inefficient capacity. As a result, a modern 77% capacity utilization now would be equivalent to a historical level of 70%.
Michael Perelman is an American economist and economic historian, currently professor of economics at California State University, Chico. Perelman has written 19 books, including Railroading Economics, Manufacturing Discontent, The Perverse Economy, and The Invention of Capitalism.
John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, was a British economist whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. Widely considered the founder of modern macroeconomics, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots.
If market demand grows, capacity utilization will rise. If demand weakens, capacity utilization will slacken. Economists and bankers often watch capacity utilization indicators for signs of inflation pressures.
It is often believed that when the utilization rate rises above somewhere between 82% and 85%, price inflation will increase. Excess capacity means that insufficient demand exists to warrant expansion of output.
All else constant, the lower capacity utilization falls (relative to the trend capacity utilization rate), the better the bond market likes it. Bondholders view strong capacity utilization (above the trend rate) as a leading indicator of higher inflation. Higher inflation—or the expectation of higher inflation—decreases bond prices, often prompting a higher yield to compensate for the higher expected rate of inflation.
The bond market is a financial market where participants can issue new debt, known as the primary market, or buy and sell debt securities, known as the secondary market. This is usually in the form of bonds, but it may include notes, bills, and so on.
In economics, inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation reflects a reduction in the purchasing power per unit of money – a loss of real value in the medium of exchange and unit of account within the economy. A chief measure of price inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index, usually the consumer price index, over time. The opposite of inflation is deflation.
Implicitly, the capacity utilization rate is also an indicator of how efficiently the factors of production are being used. Much statistical and anecdotal evidence shows that many industries in the developed capitalist economies suffer from chronic excess capacity. Critics of market capitalism, therefore, argue the system is not as efficient as it may seem, since at least 1/5 more output could be produced and sold, if buying power was better distributed. However, a level of utilization somewhat below the maximum typically prevails, regardless of economic conditions.
In economics, factors of production, resources, or inputs are what is used in the production process to produce output—that is, finished goods and services. The utilized amounts of the various inputs determine the quantity of output according to the relationship called the production function. There are three basic resources or factors of production: land, labor, and capital. The factors are also frequently labeled "producer goods or services" to distinguish them from the goods or services purchased by consumers, which are frequently labeled "consumer goods".
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.
The notion of capacity utilization was introduced into modern business cycle theory by Greenwood, Hercowitz, and Huffman (1988). They illustrated how capacity utilization is important for getting business cycle correlations in economic models to match the data when there are shocks to investment spending.
As a derivative indicator, the "output gap percentage" (%OG) can be measured as the gap between actual output (AO) and potential output (PO) divided by potential output and multiplied by 100%:
In the survey of plant capacity used by the US Federal Reserve Board for the FRB capacity utilization index, firms are asked about "the maximum level of production that this establishment could reasonably expect to attain under normal and realistic operating conditions, fully utilizing the machinery and equipment in place."
By contrast, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) index asks respondents to measure their current output relative to "normal capacity", and this yields a utilization rate, which is between 4 and 10 percentage points higher than the FRB measure. Again, the time series show more or less the same historical movement.
See Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization.
The average economy-wide capacity utilization rate in the US since 1967 was about 81.6%, according to the Federal Reserve measure. The figure for Europe is not much different, for Japan being only slightly higher.
The average utilization rate of installed productive capacity in industry, in some major areas of the world, was estimated in 2003/2004 to be as follows (rounded figures):
The economy of Canada is a highly developed mixed economy with 10th largest GDP by nominal and 16th largest GDP by PPP in the world. As with other developed nations, the country's economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. Canada has the fourth highest total estimated value of natural resources, valued at US$33.2 trillion in 2016. It has the world's third largest proven petroleum reserves and is the fourth largest exporter of petroleum. It is also the fourth largest exporter of natural gas. Canada is considered an "energy superpower" due to its abundant natural resources and small population.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a period of time, often annually. GDP (nominal) per capita does not, however, reflect differences in the cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries; therefore using a basis of GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) is arguably more useful when comparing differences in living standards between nations.
Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country with a dominant agricultural sector. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. According to Healy Consultants, the economy relies heavily on the strength of industrial exports, with plentiful reserves of gold, mercury, uranium and natural gas. The economy also relies heavily on remittances from foreign workers. Following independence, Kyrgyzstan was progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Kyrgyzstan's economic performance has been hindered by widespread corruption, low foreign investment and general regional instability. Despite political corruption and regional instability, Kyrgyzstan is ranked 70th on the ease of doing business index.
Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. This includes regional, national, and global economies. Macroeconomists study aggregated indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates, national income, price indices, and the interrelations among the different sectors of the economy to better understand how the whole economy functions. They also develop models that explain the relationship between such factors as national income, output, consumption, unemployment, inflation, saving, investment, international trade, and international finance.
An economic indicator is a statistic about an economic activity. Economic indicators allow analysis of economic performance and predictions of future performance. One application of economic indicators is the study of business cycles. Economic indicators include various indices, earnings reports, and economic summaries: for example, the unemployment rate, quits rate, housing starts, consumer price index, consumer leverage ratio, industrial production, bankruptcies, gross domestic product, broadband internet penetration, retail sales, stock market prices, and money supply changes.
This aims to be a complete article list of economics topics:
An interest rate is the amount of interest due per period, as a proportion of the amount lent, deposited or borrowed. The total interest on an amount lent or borrowed depends on the principal sum, the interest rate, the compounding frequency, and the length of time over which it is lent, deposited or borrowed.
Capital intensity is the amount of fixed or real capital present in relation to other factors of production, especially labor. At the level of either a production process or the aggregate economy, it may be estimated by the capital to labor ratio, such as from the points along a capital/labor isoquant.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is a macroeconomic concept used in official national accounts such as the United Nations System of National Accounts (UNSNA), National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) and the European System of Accounts (ESA). The concept dates back to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) studies of Simon Kuznets of capital formation in the 1930s, and standard measures for it were adopted in the 1950s. Statistically it measures the value of acquisitions of new or existing fixed assets by the business sector, governments and "pure" households less disposals of fixed assets. GFCF is a component of the expenditure on gross domestic product (GDP), and thus shows something about how much of the new value added in the economy is invested rather than consumed.
The economic history of Republic of Turkey may be studied according to sub-periods signified with major changes in economic policy: i) 1923-1929, when development policy emphasised private accumulation; ii) 1929-1945 when development policy emphasised state accumulation in a period of global crises; iii) 1950-1980, a period of state guided industrialisation based on import substituting protectionism; iv) 1980 onwards, opening of the Turkish economy to liberal trade in goods, services and financial market transactions. However one distinct characteristic between 1923–1985, in large part as a result of government policies, a backward economy developed into a complex economic system producing a wide range of agricultural, industrial, and service products for both domestic and export markets the economy grew at an average annual rate of six percent.
China's economic system before the late-1990s, with state ownership of certain industries and central control over planning and the financial system, has enabled the government to mobilize whatever surplus was available and greatly increase the proportion of the national economic output devoted to investment.
Rate-of-return regulation is a system for setting the prices charged by government-regulated monopolies. The main premise is that monopolies must charge the same price that would ideally prevail in a perfectly-competitive market, equal to the efficient costs of production, plus a market-determined rate of return on capital.
Industrial production is a measure of output of the industrial sector of the economy. The industrial sector includes manufacturing, mining, and utilities. Although these sectors contribute only a small portion of gross domestic product (GDP), they are highly sensitive to interest rates and consumer demand. This makes industrial production an important tool for forecasting future GDP and economic performance. Industrial production figures are also used by central banks to measure inflation, as high levels of industrial production can lead to uncontrolled levels of consumption and rapid inflation.The Industrial productions came about during the Industrial revolution.
Industry was 40,5% of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Industry contributed 46.8 percent of GDP in 2010 and occupied 27 percent of the workforce in 2007. As of 2015, the manufacturing industrial sectors contribute 40% of China's GDP. The manufacturing sector produced 44.1 percent of GDP in 2004 and accounted for 11.3 percent of total employment in 2006. China is the world’s leading manufacturer of chemical fertilizers, cement, and steel. Prior to 1978, most output was produced by state-owned enterprises. As a result of the economic reforms that followed, there was a significant increase in production by enterprises sponsored by local governments, especially townships and villages, and, increasingly, by private entrepreneurs and foreign investors, but by 1990 the state sector accounted for about 70 percent of output. By 2002 the share in gross industrial output by state-owned and state-holding industries had decreased with the state-run enterprises themselves accounting for 46 percent of China’s industrial output. In November, 2012 the State Council of the People's Republic of China mandated a "social risk assessment" for all major industrial projects. This requirement followed mass public protests in some locations for planned projects or expansions.
The mineral industry of Russia is one of the world's leading mineral industries and accounts for a large percentage of the Commonwealth of Independent States' production of a range of mineral products, including metals, industrial minerals, and mineral fuels. In 2005, Russia ranked among the leading world producers or was a significant producer of a vast range of mineral commodities, including aluminum, arsenic, cement, copper, magnesium compounds and metals, nitrogen, palladium, silicon, nickel and vanadium.
The socialist market economy of the People's Republic of China is the world's second largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's largest economy by purchasing power parity. Until 2015, China was the world's fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 6% over 30 years. Due to historical and political facts of China's developing economy, China's public sector accounts for a bigger share of the national economy than the burgeoning private sector. According to the IMF, on a per capita income basis China ranked 71st by GDP (nominal) and 78th by GDP (PPP) per capita in 2016. The country has an estimated $23 trillion worth of natural resources, 90% of which are coal and rare earth metals. China also has the world's largest total banking sector assets of $39.9 trillion with $26.54 trillion in total deposits.
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country, generally the central bank, controls the supply of money in the economy by its control over interest rates in order to maintain price stability and achieve high economic growth. In India, the central monetary authority is the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It is designed to maintain the price stability in the economy. Other objectives of the monetary policy of India, as stated by RBI, are:
This glossary of economics is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in economics, its sub-disciplines, and related fields.