US January industrial output falls on weather, Boeing drop

WASHINGTON -- U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% in January as unseasonably warm weather held down the output of utilities and Boeing Co slowed production of civilian aircraft, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

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The Fed said manufacturing production fell 0.1% in January, matching forecasts, but December’s manufacturing output was revised lower to a 0.1% gain from a previously reported 0.2% gain.

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Overall industrial output for December was revised downward to a 0.4% reduction from a previously reported 0.3% drop.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output would fall 0.2% in January, with manufacturing output forecast to be down 0.1%. On an annualized basis, production at factories fell 0.8% in January, mirroring the annualized drop in overall industrial production.US MANUFACTURING WEAKEST IN A DECADE

Production of aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment fell 7.4% in January after a 0.5% increase in December, the Fed said. The drop reflects Boeing’s halt this year of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

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This was somewhat offset by a rise in vehicle assemblies to 11.29 million units on an annualized basis. Manufacturing output excluding motor vehicles and parts fell 0.3% in January.

Capacity usage at factories, mines and utilities fell to 76.8%, the lowest since September 2017, from 77.1% in December.

U.S. utility production fell 4.0% in January after a 6.2% drop in December, while output at mines rose 1.2% in January after a 1.5% increase in December.