U.S. industrial production fell slightly in February, primarily because unseasonably warm weather in parts of the country caused utilities to scale back output, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.
Total output declined 0.1 percent — contrary to Wall Street forecasts for a 0.6 percent increase — following three straight months of gains including a revised 0.3 percent rise in January. Utilities production dropped steeply by 4.5 percent after a 2 percent fall in January but manufacturing production was up 0.4 percent after a 0.9 percent January rise.
Capacity use, a measure of how fully firms are using their productive resources, eased to 76.3 percent in February from 76.4 percent in January. Analysts had expected factory use rates to edge up to 76.5 percent in February.
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