U.S. industrial output declined in November for the first time in seven months as manufacturing activity slumped, countering recent signs of improvement in the economy.
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Production in the U.S. industrial sector eased 0.2 percent last month, the first drop since April, following a 0.7 percent gain in October. Analysts in a Reuters poll had been looking for a 0.2 percent rise.
A measure of how fully firms are using available resources, capacity utilization, eased to 77.8 from 78.0.
The pullback in factory activity was led by a 3.4 percent decrease in motor vehicles and parts. But even excluding that drag, manufacturing output was still down 0.2 percent.
Mining production rose 0.1 percent, and there was a 0.2 percent rise for utilities.