WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production fell 0.6% in September, the weakest showing since spring and a sign that the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession may be faltering just as confirmed viral infections are resurging in much of the country.
The Federal Reserve reported Friday that industrial production suffered its first decline since a 12.7% drop in April during the spring lockdowns of businesses that paralyzed the economy. The key category that reflects manufacturing output fell 0.3%. At the same time, mining output, which includes oil and gas exploration, fell 5.6%. Production at utilities rose 1.7%.
Last month’s reading
U.S. industrial production increased for a third straight month in July, indicating manufacturing is gradually emerging from a deep demand slump tied to the coronavirus pandemic.
Total output at factories, mines and utilities rose 3% from the prior month after a revised 5.7% gain in June that was the biggest since 1959, Federal Reserve data showed Friday. The July increase matched the median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Factory output climbed 3.4% last month, while manufacturing capacity utilization increased to 69.2%.
Despite another solid advance in production, the Fed’s index of industrial