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Manufacturing Industry Updates

Industrial Production Shows Decline with Output ‘Well Below Expectations’

The Federal Reserve reported industrial production fell 0.6% in September. (iStock/ElenaPhoto)

Industrial production in the United States declined last month after four straight months of increases that began in May after drastic declines in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production fell 0.6% in September, which is the industry’s first decline since a 12.7% drop in April amid the shutdowns of businesses. “[The decline is the industry’s] weakest showing since the spring and a sign that the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession may be faltering just as novel coronavirus cases are again surging in much of the country,” the report said.

Industrial production has recovered more than half of its spring declines, but remains 7.1% below its pre-pandemic level in February. “Industrial output came in well below expectations, one of the first real signs that the recovery is losing momentum under the weight of the ongoing health crisis and fading support from fiscal relief,” Oxford Economics said in a research note.

Manufacturing output fell 0.3% while mining output, which includes oil and gas exploration, fell 5.6%. Production of motor vehicles and parts fell for a second straight month, dropping 4% after a 4.3% decline in August.