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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization

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U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.




The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before April 9, 2018.


Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Mary Susan Bucci, U.S. Start Printed Page 5243Census Bureau, Economic Reimbursable Surveys Division, Room 6H047, Washington, DC 20233, (301) 763-4639 (or via the internet at

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I. Abstract

The Census Bureau plans to request an extension of the current OMB clearance for the Quarterly Survey of Plant Capacity Utilization (SPC). The SPC is conducted quarterly, collecting from manufacturing plants and publishers, the value of actual production, the value of production that could have been achieved if operating at “full production” levels, and the value of production that could have been achieved if operating at “national emergency” levels. The survey also collects data on work patterns by shift. These data include hours in operations, production workers, and plant hours worked.

The primary sponsors of this collection and users of these data are the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The FRB uses these data in several ways. First, the capital workweek data is used as an indicator of capital use in the estimation of monthly output (industrial production). Second, the workweek data is used to improve the projections of labor productivity that are used to align industrial production (IP) with comprehensive benchmark information in the Manufacturing Sector of the Economic Census and the Annual Survey of Manufactures. Third, the utilization rate data assists in the assessment of recent changes in IP, as most of the high-frequency movement in utilization rates reflect production changes rather than capacity changes. Fourth, the time series of utilization rate data for each industry, in combination with the FRB IP data, is used to estimate current and historical measures of capacity consistent with the FRB production measures. The DLA uses these data to assess readiness to meet demand for goods under selected national emergency scenarios.

II. Method of Collection

The Census Bureau mails letters to respondents instructing them how to report electronically. Companies are asked to respond within 20 days of the initial mailing. The due date will be imprinted at the top of the letter. A reminder email is sent a week before the due date to delinquent respondents. Letters encouraging participation are mailed to companies that have not responded by the designated due date. A final email is sent to delinquent respondents with information for reporting online. Lastly, we conduct a telephone follow-up.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0607-0175.

Form Number(s): MQ-C2.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Manufacturing and publishing plants.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,500 per quarter.

Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 62,500.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Section 8(b);50 U.S.C. Section 98, et seq; 12 U.S.C. Section 244.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Sheleen Dumas,

Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2018-02307 Filed 2-5-18; 8:45 am]