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Mineral Production Data Reflect Economic Slowdown

The USGS releases mineral information essen­tial to the U.S. economy and national security.

U.S. Geological Survey data on U.S. mineral production reflect the domestic housing market decline over the past year. The USGS study shows significant declines in domestic production for a number of construction materials, including cement, gypsum, construction sand and gravel, and crushed stone.

USGS mineral data are used by the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors in preparing its index of industrial production, a principal economic indicator.

This index measures the output of factories, mines, and electric and gas utilities. Output reflects changes in price and demand for mineral commodities used by industries such as construction, transportation equipment and agriculture. Output is an important early indicator of changes in economic activity in those industries.

“We find the data, analysis and assistance provided by the USGS to be invaluable in the preparation of the indexes of industrial production and of capacity,” said Norman J. Morin, senior economist with the Federal Reserve System. “The USGS data add appreciably to the product content of industrial production and, moreover, are in an area where no data are otherwise available.”

This is the first time the USGS has publicly released these data in the same form they are provided to the Federal Reserve System. This change is in response to a recent recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences in the report “Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy.”

The U.S. is the world’s largest user of mineral commodities. Domestic mineral data are collected by the USGS through voluntary cooperation of the mineral industry. The USGS is the sole federal provider of unbiased research on mineral potential, production, consumption and environmental effects.

To see the report read “U.S. Production of Selected Mineral Commodities