American industrial production fell in August in the worst reading and the first decline since January's winter plunge. Manufacturing led the way down as auto makers cut production.
The output at the nation’s factories mines and utilities contracted 0.1 percent, far under the 0.3 percent forecast and July’s increase was halved to 0.2 percent from 0.4 percent, according to the Federal Reserve in Washington today.
Manufacturing production, which is three-quarters of total output, fell 0.4 percent on the month missing the 0.1 percent prediction by a wide margin. It was the first decline since January. Automobile companies pulled back after the largest surge in almost five years. July's manufacturing numbers were also less than reported, reduced to 0.7 percent from the original 1.0 percent issue.
The production of vehicles and parts fell 7.6 percent in August, the largest slide since May 2009, but even so it only partially reversed July's 9.3 percent gain, which had been the biggest increase since September 2009. Excluding automobiles U.S. factory output rose 0.1 percent as in July.
Capacity utilization, the percentage of the U.S. industrial base currently in use, slipped to 78.8 percent in August the lowest score since February. Economists had predicted a 0.2 percent gain to 79.3 percent. The July rate dropped to 79.1 percent after revision.
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