Economic Report: Industrial output edges down in January, ending streak of four monthly gains

An employee installs a window onto a truck on the assembly line at the Mack Truck Inc. cab and vehicle assembly plant in Macungie, Pa.

The numbers: Industrial production slipped 0.1% in January, the first decline after four straight gains, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

The drop in output was below Wall Street expectations of a 0.3% increase. Adding to the sense of softness, December’s initial report of a large 0.9% increase was cut in half to a 0.4% rise.

What happened: Manufacturing output was unchanged in January for the second straight month. Mining output fell 1%. Utility output rose 0.6% after a sharp 4.6% gain in the prior month.

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