Manufacturing Output In U.S. Declines In March

The U.S. economy continues to send mixed signals. Among the latest: Production in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy fell a tenth of a percentage point in March even as overall industrial production, which includes mining and utilities as well as manufacturing, rose three-tenths percent, the Federal Reserve reported on April 15. The decline in manufacturing output was attributed in part to a lower level of motor vehicle production.

Output of the nation's mines was up seven-tenths of a percentage point in March, and utility output rose 3.6%.

Capacity utilization in manufacturing slipped to 78% in March from 78.2% in February. In March, U.S. mines operated at 87.8% of capacity, up seven-tenths of a percent from February, while utilities were running at 87.1% of capacity, up three percentage points.

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