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US industrial output falls as manufacturing slumps more than expected

U.S. manufacturing and mining output dropped in July and erased gains from the prior month, pulling down overall industrial production and adding to concerns about a slowing economy.

The Federal Reserve said manufacturing production shrank 0.4% month over month in July, with output for wood products, machinery and nonmetallic mineral products posting the biggest declines.

Mining output slid 1.8% in July as Hurricane Barry temporarily but sharply disrupted oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Fed.

Meanwhile, production at U.S. utilities rebounded with 3.1% growth following a 3.3% drop in June.

Overall industrial production went down 0.2%, following two straight months of 0.2% increases.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a 0.1% increase in industrial production and a 0.1% fall in manufacturing output.

Separately, manufacturing activity in the 3rd Federal Reserve District slowed less than expected in August, according to new survey data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Fed's index for current manufacturing activity fell to 16.8 from 21.8 in July but came in above the consensus estimate for an 11.1 index reading from economists polled by Econoday. The index for future general activity also fell, to 32.6 from 38.0.

Meanwhile, business activity among manufacturing firms in New York state grew at a modest pace in August, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported. The bank's index for general business conditions edged up to 4.8 from 4.3 in July.

Both the Philadelphia Fed and New York Fed indexes measuring new orders registered gains in August, reflecting higher demand.