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Industrial Production Falls in August for First Time Since January

Wall Street Journal (09/15/14) Jonathan House; Eric Morath

U.S. industrial production declined 0.1% in August from July, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Prior to the latest reading industrial production had not declined since January, and July’s increase was revised down to 0.2% from 0.4%. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.3% increase for August.

Meanwhile, manufacturing production, the largest component of the overall figure, declined 0.4% in August after climbing 0.7% in July due to strong output from the automobile sector. Excluding autos, factory output rose by 0.1% in both July and August. Overall industrial output in August rose 4.1% from the same period a year ago.

The broader economy’s health has been improving since a weather-related slump in the first quarter. It grew at a 4.2% annual rate in the second quarter.