U.S. Production Declines For 12th Consecutive Month

By John S. McClenahen With U.S. manufacturing output declining 1.1% in September and overall industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, falling 1%, data from the Federal Reserve Board continue to confirm a U.S. economic recession. And significantly, "while the weakness in September was probably exaggerated by supply disruptions relating to Sept. 11, weaker demand will prevent a recovery in coming months," says Maury N. Harris, chief U.S. economist at UBS Warburg, New York. September's fall in industrial production was its 12th consecutive decline and fractionally greater than August's 0.7% decline. U.S. industrial production has fallen 5.8% since September 2000. The September decline in manufacturing was broad-based, with production of computers, communications equipment and semiconductors falling a dramatic 2.4%. During the past 12 months, U.S. manufacturing output has contracted 6.7%, with production of durable goods falling 8% and nondurables down 5%.

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