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Financial News: U.S. Industrial Production Unexpectedly Edges Lower In May

U.S. Industrial Production Unexpectedly Edges Lower In May

06/15/2018 - 09:38:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - With a drop in manufacturing output more than offsetting jumps in mining and utilities output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in U.S. industrial production in the month of May.

The Fed said industrial production edged down by 0.1 percent in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.9 percent in April.

The dip came as a surprise to economists, had expected production to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected decrease in production came amid a pullback in manufacturing output, which fell by 0.7 percent in May after rising by 0.6 percent in April.

The Fed said the drop in manufacturing output largely reflected a disruption in truck assemblies due to a major fire at a parts supplier, noting factory output excluding motor vehicles and parts dipped by just 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, mining output spiked by 1.8 percent in May after jumping by 1.0 percent in April, while utilities output surged up by 1.1 percent after soaring by 3.2 percent in the previous month.

The report also said capacity utilization in the industrial sector slipped to 77.9 percent in May from an upwardly revised 78.1 percent in April.

Economists had expected capacity utilization to inch up to 78.1 percent from 78.0 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector fell to 75.3 percent, while capacity utilization in the mining and utilities sectors rose 92.4 percent and 79.4 percent, respectively.

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