US factory production rises just 0.2 percent in October; slowdown in autos limits growth

Markets Associated Press

In this Nov. 11, 2014 photo, Agil Alhaddi inspects a roof rail for the 2015 Ford F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The Federal Reserve releases industrial production figures for October on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul ... Sancya) (The Associated Press)

U.S. manufacturing output grew modestly in October, as autoworkers churned out fewer cars and trucks.

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The Federal Reserve says output at manufacturing plants rose 0.2 percent in October. Gains came from the rising demand for machinery, plastics, clothing and furniture. Factory output has risen 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Total industrial production dipped 0.1 percent last month, due to a sharp decline in output from mines and utilities.

Manufacturing has steadily helped fuel economic growth for much of 2014, driven in large part by booming auto sales.

But in October, the automotive sector tapped the brakes for the third straight month. Auto production fell 1.2 percent in October, after declines of 1.9 percent in September and 7.2 percent in August.