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U.S. Industrial Production Unexpectedly Drops 0.6% In January

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Industrial production in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of January, the Federal Reserve revealed in a report released on Friday.

The Fed said industrial production fell by 0.6 percent in January after inching up by a downwardly revised 0.1 percent in December.

Economists had expected production to tick up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected drop in industrial production came as manufacturing output slumped by 0.9 percent in January after climbing by 0.8 percent in December.

The pullback in manufacturing output primarily reflected a large drop in production of motor vehicle assemblies, although factory output still dipped by 0.2 percent excluding motor vehicles and parts.

Meanwhile, the report said utilities output rose by 0.4 percent in January after plummeting by 6.9 percent in December.

Mining output also inched up by 0.1 percent in January following a 1.5 percent jump in the previous month.

The Fed also said capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell to 78.2 percent in January from an upwardly revised 78.8 percent in December.

Economists had expected capacity utilization to come in unchanged compared to the 78.7 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the manufacturing and mining sectors fell to 75.8 percent and 94.8 percent, respectively, while capacity utilization in the utilities sector edged up to 75.4 percent.

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