Industrial production declines

Sept. 17, 2002 at 9:54 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that U.S. industrial production, a key measure of work done by factories, mines and utilities, posted its first decline of the year during August, falling a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent after rising 0.4 percent in July.

Most economists on Wall Street were expecting industrial production to rise 0.2 percent during the month.

The last time industrial production declined was in December.

The Fed said the plant-in-use rate declined to 76 percent from 76.2 percent in July.

The report showed work at factories, which accounts for almost 90 percent of U.S. industrial production, declined 0.1 percent in August, the first decline this year, after increasing 0.3 in July.

Production of consumer durable goods, which includes automobiles, furniture and electronics, fell 0.9 percent after jumping 2.1 percent in July.

Production of autos and parts declined 1.4 percent after surging 3.9 percent in July.

The Fed said production of business equipment, which includes computers, communications equipment and semiconductors, declined 0.4 percent in August after falling 0.3 percent in July.

The report showed production of non-durable consumer goods, which include food, clothing, and paper products, fell 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.1 percent in July.

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