October 16, 2020 10:00 AM, EDT

Industrial Production Fell a Sharp 0.6% in September

oil pump jackA pump jack operates outside of Midland, Texas. (Matthew Busch/Bloomberg News)

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WASHINGTON — U.S. industrial production fell 0.6% in September, the weakest showing since industrial output tumbled in the spring when the economy was slowed by widespread lockdowns resulting from the coronavirus.

The Federal Reserve reported Oct. 16 that industrial production suffered its first decline since a 12.7% drop in April during the spring lockdowns.

The key category that reflects manufacturing output fell 0.3%. At the same time, mining output, which includes oil and gas exploration, fell 5.6%. Production at the nation’s utilities was up 1.7%.

Last month’s reading on industrial production was far below the gains that began in May after sharp declines in March and April.

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