The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released its quarterly U.S. mine and plant production data for selected mineral commodities. These are provided 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. The data in this report include current and prior months’ production data provided to the FRS, some of which have been revised.
Domestic production of construction materials (cement, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, and gypsum combined) in the second quarter of 2014 increased approximately 60 percent compared with that in the first quarter of 2014, due to seasonal fluctuations that are influenced by weather conditions. Production for these mineral commodities in the second quarter of 2014 was about 8 percent greater than during the second quarter of 2013.
During the first 6 months of 2014, aluminum, copper, lead, and zinc production increased by 3 percent, 13 percent, 10 percent, and 9 percent, respectively, compared with production during the same time period in 2013.
During the first half of 2014, gold production decreased by 8 percent and silver production increased by 8 percent as compared with that in the same time period in 2013. For these and other mineral commodities listed, numerous factors can influence production, making it difficult to generalize short-term changes in production levels, according to USGS.