U.S. industrial output fell 0.2% in July as factories struggle
August 15, 2019 by The Associated Press
August 15, 2019 – U.S. industrial production fell 0.2 per cent in July, as factory activity slumped in a worrisome sign for the economy.
The Federal Reserve says manufacturing production declined 0.4 per cent last month. Output decreased for autos, fabricated metals, wood products, textiles and plastics and rubber products.
Over the past 12 months, factory production has fallen 0.5 per cent. Manufacturers’ struggles reflect a global softening in growth and President Donald Trump’s use of tariffs to escalate a trade war with China.
Production at the nation’s utilities increased 3.1 per cent. Production at mines, a sector that also covers oil and gas drilling, fell 1.8 per cent as Hurricane Barry temporarily halted oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico.
More plant equipment is sitting idle. Capacity utilization slipped in July to 77.5 per cent, down 2.2 points from a year ago.