U.S. manufacturing output drops by most in eight months

February 15, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing output posted its steepest fall in eight months in January, dragged down by declines in a broad range of goods that could fuel fears of a sharp slowdown in factory activity.

The Federal Reserve said on Friday manufacturing production slumped 0.9 percent last month. Data for December was revised to show a smaller increase in output that month.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output rising 0.1 percent in January.

Total industrial output – which includes factories, mining operations and utilities – dropped 0.6 percent during the month. It was the first decline since May 2018.

Within the factory sector, production of motor vehicles and parts dropped 8.8 percent in January, while output also fell for machinery, chemicals, electronics and aerospace equipment.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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