Industrial Production Declined 0.3 percent in January

Industrial production declined 0.3 percent in January, as unseasonably warm weather held down the output of utilities and as a major manufacturer significantly slowed production of civilian aircraft. The index for manufacturing edged down 0.1 percent in January; excluding the production of aircraft and parts, factory output

Manufacturing output decreased 0.1 percent in January to a level 0.8 percent below its year-earlier reading. The production of durable goods moved down 0.5 percent in January, as drops for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment and for machinery were partially offset by a gain for motor vehicles and parts. The output of non durable manufacturing rose 0.3 percent, and almost all of its component categoriesposted gains. The indexes for petroleum and coal products and for plastics and rubber products recorded increases of more than 1 percent, whereas only the index for apparel and leather recorded a decrease of more than 1 percent.

Mining output advanced 1.2 percent in January and stood 3.1 percent above its level of a year earlier.

The output of utilities fell 4.0 percent in January, with electric and natural gas utilities posting declines of 3.2 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.

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About Author

Hugo Dante is an economist in Washington, D.C. He was previously an economic research specialist at ABA. In addition to the ABA Banking Journal, his writing has appeared in The Hill, The National Interest and Townhall. Views expressed here are his own.