Thursday, May 15, 2008

Industrial Production

US industrial production, output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities, fell 0.7% in April. The number is below estimates, as economists were expecting a negative 0.6% for the month. The April number follows a downwardly revised 0.2% gain in March.

Output at the nation's factories fell 0.8%, the biggest decline since September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina wrecked havoc. Industrial production is up 0.2% in the past year, and is down 1.2% since January.

Capacity utilization, a key gauge of inflationary pressures, fell to 79.7%, from 80.4%. It is also at its lowest levels since Katrina. Lower capacity usually leads to slower inflation, as producers compete with each other for work.

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