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Industrial Production Edges Down 0.2% in September

Industrial production decreased 0.2 percent in September after an increase of 0.2 percent in August. Total manufacturing output, as well as manufacturing output excluding motor vehicles and parts also moved down 0.2 percent.

For the third quarter as a whole, total industrial production rose at an annual rate of 4.8 percent after having advanced about 7 percent in both the first and second quarters of this year.

"The modest decline in industrial production in September was led by a slowdown in manufacturing from the strong pace of the last year," said Thomas J. Duesterberg, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "The inventory swing that boosted production earlier in the recovery is giving way to more final demand-driven production schedules.

"Consumer related manufactured goods led the decline in September, while weak computer sales and a sluggish aerospace sector dampened demand for capital goods. Clearly the U. S. industrial economy is slowing and is in need of stronger demand from consumers and from more robust global business investment in capital goods," Duesterberg said.

The index for manufacturing decelerated sharply in the third quarter: After having jumped at an annual rate of 9.1 percent in the second quarter, factory output gained 3.6 percent in the third quarter.

Production at mines moved up 0.7 percent, while the output of utilities fell 1.9 percent. At 93.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in September was 5.4 percent above its year-earlier level.

The capacity utilization rate for total industry edged down to 74.7 percent, a rate 4.2 percentage points above the rate from a year earlier but 5.9 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.

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