After having risen 0.5% in July, industrial production in the U.S. fell 1.2% in August.
Hurricane Isaac restrained output in the Gulf Coast region at the end of August, reducing the rate of change in total industrial production by an estimated 0.3 percentage point, the Federal Reserve reported.
Manufacturing output decreased 0.7% in August after having risen 0.4% in both June and July.
"It should not be a surprise that production fell, as the employment report issued earlier this month stated that manufacturing employment fell by 15,000 jobs in August," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).
“Manufacturing activity was front-loaded this year,” Meckstroth added.
“Exceptionally strong production in the mild winter was followed by a saw-tooth pattern of growth and decline in the spring and summer. One month manufacturing production is up, the next it’s down, and on average it’s relatively flat. The problem is that consumers are constrained by slow income growth, and the potential engine of strong growth—business equipment investment—is slowing down. With the recession in Europe becoming worse and the political gridlock in this presidential election year making resolution of the fiscal cliff more problematic."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012