Mark Thoma offers this:
From a forecasting point of view, I think it’s not totally clear how you want to interpret this. I think it’s noteworthy that capacity utilization at our last peak was actually pretty low—similar to the early-nineties recession level. I take that as evidence that global policy leaders haven’t learned how to fully take advantage of developed world economic progress. In the aggregate, the planet earth is getting much, much, much better at making stuff and we’re distributing it effectively.