INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION FALLS

Industrial production fell 0.6% in April, the worst decline since 2012, but the monthly drop-off was due to weather. Expectations were for no growth, compared with a revised 0.9% in March.

“The output of utilities dropped 5.3% in April, as demand for heating returned toward normal levels,” the Fed said. “The production at mines increased 1.4% following a gain of 2.0% in March. At 102.7% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in April was 3.5% above its level of a year earlier.”

But capacity utilization fell 0.7 percentage points in April to 78.6%, a rate that is 1.5% points below the long-run (1972 — 2013) average.

Here’s what it’s looked like recently.

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