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U.S. Industrial Production Drops More Than Expected Amid Auto Strikes

Partly reflecting the strikes at several major motor vehicle manufacturers, the Federal Reserve released a report on Thursday showing industrial production in the U.S. fell by much more than expected in the month of October.

The Fed said industrial production slid by 0.6 percent in October after inching up by a downwardly revised 0.1 percent in September.

Economists had expected industrial production to decrease by 0.3 percent, reversing the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The report said manufacturing output fell by 0.7 percent in October after edging up by 0.2 percent in September, with the drop largely reflecting a 10 percent nosedive in the output of motor vehicles and parts.

Utilities output also tumbled by 1.6 percent in October after falling by 0.6 percent in September, while mining output rose by 0.4 percent in October after coming in unchanged in the previous month.

The Fed also said capacity utilization in the industrial sector slumped to 78.9 percent in October from a downwardly revised 79.5 percent in September.

Economists had expected capacity utilization to slip to 79.4 percent from the 79.7 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the manufacturing and utilities sectors fell to 77.2 percent and 71.4 percent, respectively, while capacity utilization in the mining sector rose to 94.3 percent.

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