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Mineral Commodities Report Notes Production Increases

The U.S. Geological Survey released its third-quarter report detailing U.S. production of selected mineral commodities. Crushed stone production was up 5 percent over the previous quarter and 1 percent year-over year. Sand and gravel production was up 9 percent over the previous quarter and 2 percent year-over year. Cement production was up 2 percent over the previous quarter and 10 percent year-over year.

The increase in domestic production of construction materials (crushed stone, sand and gravel, and cement) compared with those in the second quarter of 2012 may reflect an increase in construction after several years of decline, according to Steven D. Textoris, chief, Mineral Commodities Section, the author of the report.

Total construction spending during the first three quarters of 2012 was 8.9 percent more than that in the corresponding period of 2011 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2012) reported that privately owned housing starts in the first three quarters of 2012 were 26.6 percent higher than those in the first three quarters of 2011.

U.S. mine and plant-production data for selected mineral commodities are provided monthly (or quarterly) by the U.S. Geological Survey to the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (FRS), for use in preparing its index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates. These measures cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities, and they are among the key economic indicators monitored by the FRS for guidance in determining national monetary policy.