The Index of Industrial production fell 0.6% in March according to the Federal Reserve, largely due to declines in mining and utilities. Total industrial production for the first quarter fell 2.2% compared to last year.
Mining output fell 2.9% on the month, continuing the downward trajectory for the industry. Mining output fell at an average pace of 1.6% monthly over the past seven months.
The utilities index fell 1.2% in March, primarily due to a 4.6% decline in natural gas. The utilities index is down 7.7% over the past 12 months.
Manufacturing also declined in March, falling 0.3%. The largest manufacturing declines were in motor vehicles and parts, and in electrical equipment, appliances and components, both of which declined by 1.5%. Over the past year, manufacturing output is up 0.4%.
Capacity utilization slipped to 74.8%, 50 basis points below February’s reading, but up 1.2% on the year.
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