US factory output flat for 2nd straight month
Washington – U.S. factory output was unchanged in January for the second straight month after three months of healthy gains.
The Federal Reserve says production fell in wood products, aircraft and a category including concrete and glass. Yet factories also cranked out more cars and computers.
Manufacturers posted a solid year in 2017, expanding production and adding nearly 200,000 jobs. A cheaper dollar and healthy economies overseas boosted exports, while stepped up consumer spending in the U.S. lifted domestic sales. The past two months’ readings suggest, however, that factory production has slowed in the new year.
Overall industrial production, which includes mines and utilities, slipped 0.1 per cent. Mining production fell 1 per cent, while utility output climbed 0.6 per cent.