Industrial Output Declines in September
Industrial production decreased 0.6% in September after having been unchanged in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 3.6%, down from the rapid pace of gains in the previous three quarters. Nonetheless, production at the end of the quarter was about 5-1/2% above its year-earlier level. Output in the manufacturing sector declined 0.3% in September, a decrease that slightly more than reversed its upwardly revised gain of 0.2% in August. The output of utilities plunged 4.4% in September, while the output at mines expanded 0.7%.
Capacity utilization for total industry declined 0.6 percentage point, to 81.9%. Even so, this rate of capacity utilization was higher than the rates recorded from mid-2000 to early 2006.