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Economic Report: Manufacturing output down in March for first time in seven months

Bloomberg
A worker reviews New Holland Ltd. round baler components at the company’s Haytools factory in New Holland, Pa.

Manufacturing output lost momentum in March, dragged down by weakness in the auto sector, according to Federal Reserve data released Tuesday.

Factory output fell 0.4%, the first decline since last August, and the drag would have lowered overall March industrial production if it wasn’t for utilities output.

A steep 3% decline in the production of autos and auto parts accounted for the drop in manufacturing. It’s a reading consistent with the slower pace of auto sales.

The decline was not all autos, however, as manufacturing ex-motor vehicles was down 0.2% in March.

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