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U.S. industrial production down in January due to severe weather

English.news.cn   2014-02-15 07:26:11

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. industrial production decreased in January for the first time in six months, as manufacturing output recorded its biggest drop since 2009, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

Industrial production, an indicator of the output of mines, factories and utilities, decreased by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in January, the first decline since July 2013. It followed a revised 0.3 percent increase in December.

Manufacturing output, the largest component of the overall industrial production, dropped 0.8 percent in January, the biggest drop since May 2009.

"The severe weather in January contributed to a decrease of 0.8 percent for manufacturing production," the report noted. Capacity utilization for manufacturing moved down 0.7 percentage point in January to 76 percent, 2.7 percentage points below its long-run average.

Mining output moved down 0.9 percent in January, as extremely cold weather led to slowdowns at some oil and gas extraction facilities, the Fed said. It followed a 1.8 percent gain in December.

The output of utilities rose 4.1 percent, as demand for heating was boosted by unseasonably cold temperatures.

The overall industrial capacity utilization, a key measure of efficiency, edged down by 0.4 percentage point to 78.5 percent in January, and was 1.6 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2013.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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