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Manufacturing Output Barely Picks Up As Autos Decelerate

U.S. auto production fell 5.4% in July as plants shut down for retooling, and as a result U.S. factory output posted only a one-tenth percent gain last month, the Federal Reserve Board reported on August 16.

Manufacturing output has been up and down for the past four months. In April, it rose nine-tenths of a percentage point. In May, output fell a tenth of a percent, and in June it rose eight-tenths of a percent.

In July, capacity utilization in manufacturing slipped a tenth of a percentage point to 81%. However, that figure is 2.4 percentage points above its July 2005 level and 1.2 percentage points better than its 1972-1005 monthly average.

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