(Josh Boak – Associated Press)
U.S. industrial production fell 0.6 percent in January, stemming in large part from an 8.8 percent plunge in the making of motor vehicles and auto parts.
The Federal Reserve said Friday that that the manufacturing component of the index dropped 0.9 percent last month, reversing a 0.8 percent gain in December. Over the past 12 months, factory production has increased just 2.9 percent. Manufacturing of wood products, computers, electrical equipment, apparel and chemicals also fell in January.
The decline suggests a clear cooling at U.S. factories that could prompt a slower pace of growth this year compared to 2018. While job growth has been solid, other sectors of the economy are showing signs for caution. Consumers appeared to retreat in December as the Labor Department reported that retail sales fell. Click here to read more.
- U.S. Industrial Production Falls in January for the First Time in Eight Months (MarketWatch)
- Year-End Data Signals Creeping Downturn (Axios)
- Weakest U.S. Retail Sales Since 2009 Cast Pall over economy (Reuters)
- December 2018 Advance Monthly Sales for Retail Trade and Food Services Report (U.S. Census)