Industrial production fell 0.4% in August, and manufacturing reversed a gain in the prior month, according to the Federal Reserve.
Capacity utilization slipped to 75.5% from 75.9% during the prior month, the Fed’s data showed.
Economists had forecast that industrial production fell 0.2% while factories used 75.7% of their capacity, according to Bloomberg.
“A decline in the August ISM manufacturing production index below the key 50 level for the first time since December 2015 and a 0.6% drop in factory production worker hours” pointed to a drop in manufacturing output, according to Wells Fargo’s Sam Bullard in a preview.
The manufacturing sector has struggled to completely recover from a slowdown induced by weaker foreign demand and the strength of the US dollar.
The utilities index dropped to -1.4 from 1.7. It’s still up year-on-year given demand for air conditioning during the summer.
Mining output increased for a fourth straight month, by 1%, extending the streak it’s been on following its prolonged downturn.
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