Manufacturing output dropped 0.4 percent in January after rising 1.1 percent in the previous month -- a revised figure -- and 1.7 percent in November.
For the fourth quarter, the Fed said, manufacturing rose at an annual rate of 1.9 percent, a sharp revision from an annual rate of 0.2 percent that was previously reported.
Output from utilities rose 3.5 percent in January, as winter set in, increasing demand for heat. At U.S. mines, production dropped 1 percent in the first month of the year.
At 98.6 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in November was 2.1 percent above its year-earlier level.