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US industrial output ticks lower in October

An aerial view of the Coal Hollow Mine May 2, 2012 near Alton, Utah
An aerial view of the Coal Hollow Mine May 2, 2012 near Alton, Utah

US industrial production slipped 0.1 percent in October, depressed by declines in utilities and mining, while manufacturing made a modest gain, Federal Reserve data released Friday showed.

The slight dip in output, matching the average estimate, followed a 0.7 percent rise in September that was initially estimated at 0.6 percent. The October reading was 3.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Manufacturing production increased for the third consecutive month, by 0.3 percent.

Consumer goods production, however, fell 0.1 percent, slowing sharply from a 0.8 percent rise in September.

The automotive sector posted the largest decrease in output, down 1.3 percent after a 1.9 percent rise in September.

Mining output fell 1.6 percent, its first decline in seven months, partly due to temporary shutdowns of oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in advance of Tropical Storm Karen, the Fed said.

The production of utilities dropped 1.1 percent after a sharp rise of 4.5 percent in September.

Industry capacity utilization fell 0.2 percentage point to 78.1 percent in October. The factory operating rate increased 0.1 point to 76.2 percent.

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