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Industrial output dips 0.5 percent in April

May 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- Industrial production dropped 0.5 percent in April after rising 0.3 percent in March, the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

Manufacturing output in April slipped 0.4 percent after a drop of 0.3 percent in March.

Production of consumer goods fell 0.6 percent in April with durable goods production down 0.8 percent, pushed lower by declines in automotive products, appliances, furniture and miscellaneous items.

The production index of non-durable goods fell 0.5 percent, including a 3.1 percent drop in consumer energy products.

Production at mines in April rose 0.9 percent, the Fed said, while output at utilities fell 3.7 percent, partly due to an elevated level of output in March due to unseasonably cold weather.

The rate of capacity utilization among industrial firms -- the percentage of production compared to companies going at full steam -- fell 0.5 percentage points to 77.8 percent, a rate 0.1 percentage points above its level in April 2012, but 2.4 percent below its long run average.

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