Production in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in September for the first time in more than a year, showing the industry that led the economy out of the recession is cooling.
Output at factories, mines and utilities fell 0.2 percent, the first decline since the recession ended in June 2009, figures from the Federal Reserve showed today. Factory production also decreased 0.2 percent, reflecting declines in consumer durable goods, like appliances and furniture.
The rebuilding of stockpiles, a component of the factory rebound last year, will probably cool following eight consecutive gains in inventories, a sign assembly lines will not accelerate much more. At the same time, improving demand from overseas and a pickup in business investment on new equipment may keep benefitting American manufacturers like Alcoa Inc., helping support the world’s largest economy.