The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) – reporting to the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (FRS), for use in preparing its index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and utilization rates – counts manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities among the key economic indicators monitored by the FRS for guidance in determining national monetary policy.
USGS is reporting that consistent with seasonal trends, the combined production of construction-related materials (cement, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, and gypsum) in the first quarter of 2018 decreased by approximately 26 percent compared with that in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Production of construction-related materials continued a stagnant growth trend for the second year in a row.
Production of cement was essentially unchanged in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the first quarter of 2017, production of crushed stone was slightly lower and production of gypsum was 3 percent lower, but production of construction sand and gravel was 7 percent higher than that of the same period in 2017.
Production of molybdenum, phosphate rock, and soda ash also decreased in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. Production of molybdenum and soda ash were 5 percent and 4 percent higher, respectively, than that of the first quarter of 2017, and production of phosphate rock was 3 percent lower.