Fed Reports Small January Drop in US Industrial Output

WASHINGTON (CN) — Hurt by an 8.8 percent plunge in the manufacturing of car and auto parts, American industrial production sank 0.6 percent in January, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

Industrial production is still 3.8 percent higher than it was this time last year, but the Fed found that the manufacturing component of the index lost what had been a 0.8 percent gain in December. 

In January the figure was down 0.9 percent last month. Meanwhile the industrial sector’s capacity-utilization rate lowered in January to 78.2, down from 78.8.

Factory production is up from last year, but by just 2.9 percent, and the Fed also reported a slight rise in mining (0.1 percent).

Because the winter drove up the use of natural gas, utility output was also up 0.4 percent.

Among indexes that fell in January were the manufacturing of apparel, chemicals, computers, electrical equipment and wood products.

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