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Industrial Production Falls

Industrial product output declined 0.6% in October, MarketWatch (subscription) reports.

What’s going on: “The drop was larger than the 0.4% decline forecast by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Much of the decline was due to the 10% drop in output for motor vehicles and parts tied to the United Auto Workers strike against … domestic producers, the Fed said.”

The details: Manufacturing fell 0.7% including the auto sector but rose 0.1% excluding it.

  • Utilities output dipped 1.6% in October, while mining—which includes natural gas and oil—increased 0.4% in the same period following a flat reading in September.
  • Defense orders rose 1.7%, their 10th monthly increase this year.

Capacity utilization: Manufacturing capacity utilization declined in October to 77.2%—its lowest in more than two years—from 77.8% in September.

Looking forward: The data “would suggest that production in the auto sector should rebound in November now that strikes have ended,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray.  

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