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US industrial output falls amid Boeing 737 MAX production halt

U.S. industrial production contracted in January as Boeing Co. suspended its 737 MAX aircraft production while unseasonably warm weather weighed on utilities output, latest data from the Federal Reserve showed.

Seasonally adjusted industrial production fell 0.3% month over month in January, matching the consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday. The decline followed a revised 0.4% drop in industrial output in the prior month.

Manufacturing output slipped 0.1% as the production of business equipment dropped 2.6% due to a slowdown in aircraft manufacturing. The Econoday consensus estimate was for a 0.2% decline in manufacturing output.

The index for utilities retreated 4.0% following a 6.2% decline in December 2019, as electric and natural gas utilities output dropped 3.2% and 7.7%, respectively. Mining output growth slowed to 1.2% in January from a 1.5% increase in the prior month.

Year over year, industrial production was down 0.8% in January, with manufacturing and utilities output declining 0.8% and 6.2%, respectively.

Manufacturing capacity utilization ticked down 0.1 percentage point in January to 75.1%, and overall industrial capacity utilization decreased 0.3 percentage point to 76.8%. Both rates were below their long-run average.