The Index of Industrial production fell 0.6 percent in March according to the Federal Reserve, largely due to declines in mining and utilities. Total industrial production for the first quarter fell 2.2 percent compared to last year.
Mining output fell 2.9 percent on the month, continuing the downward trajectory for the industry. Mining output fell at an average pace of 1.6 percent monthly over the past seven months.
The utilities index fell 1.2 percent in March, primarily due to a 4.6 percent decline in natural gas. The utilities index is down 7.7 percent over the past 12 months.
Manufacturing also declined in March, falling 0.3 percent. The largest manufacturing declines were in motor vehicles and parts, and in electrical equipment, appliances and components, both of which declined by 1.5 percent. Over the past year, manufacturing output is up 0.4 percent.
Capacity utilization slipped to 74.8 percent, 50 basis points below February’s reading, but up 1.2 percent on the year.
Read the Fed release.