Economic Report: Industrial output flat in February, held down by utility production

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A welder for Stewarts Inc.works on a tank that will be used in the fracking industry in the Permian Basin oil field in Andrews, Texas.

A drop in utilities output after an unusually warm month dampened industrial production in February, according to data released Friday.

Industrial production was flat in February, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.3% rise in output in February.

This followed a revised 0.1% decline in January, a bit faster than the original reading of a 0.3% decline. Industrial output has been in an up-and-down pattern since last fall. Compared with the same period of 2015, total production is up a slim 0.3%.

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