Industrial production eases in January

Industrial production slipped 0.5% in January after increasing 0.5% in December, according to figures published by the Federal Reserve.

Output in the manufacturing sector declined 0.7% in January. The Fed attributed about half of the decrease to a drop of 6% in motor vehicles and parts. Meanwhile, the output of utilities rebounded 2.3%, as temperatures moved back toward seasonal norms, while the output of mines moved down 1.2%.

At 111.9% of its 2002 average, overall industrial output for the month was 2.6% above its January 2006 level. The rate of capacity utilization in January fell 0.6 percentage point, to 81.2%. Even so, it was 0.1 percentage point above its year-earlier level and 0.2 percentage point above its 1972-2006 average.

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