Industrial Production Slumps in August

Industrial production tumbled 0.9% in August after a 0.4% increase in July, according to the Federal Reserve. August represented the first decline in seven months. The release estimated Hurricane Harvey to be roughly responsible for a 0.75% reduction in total output.

Manufacturing output fell 0.3% in August after a remaining unchanged in July. Production of durable goods increased 0.3%, but was outweighed by a 0.9% decrease for nondurables. Capacity utilization for manufacturing decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 75.3%, a rate that is 3.1 percentage points below its long-run average.

The output of mining fell 0.8%, the first decline since March. The index in August was 9.7% higher than its year-earlier level.

Utilities tumbled 5.5% in August, following a 1.5% increase in July. Unseasonably mild temperatures, particularly on the East Coast, reduced the demand for air conditioning, contributing to the sharp drop. The index in August was 7.8% lower than its year-earlier level.

Read the Fed release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.
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