Of the industrial sector's three categories, manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent, boosted by the production of goods such as textiles and plastics, while mining production rose 0.4 percent as gains in oil and gas well drilling offset a drop in crude oil extraction, the Federal Reserve said.
But those gains were offset by utilities production, which dropped 1.0 percent last month, despite unseasonably warm weather. "The drop in utilities output suggests slower consumer spending in the third quarter," Reuters said.
Total factory production has increased in three of the past four months, but was flat in September from a year earlier. Industrial output rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter, the first quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2015.
Reuters said the industrial sector downturn “has probably run its course,” but gains in output “are likely to be muted as the sector remains constrained by the lingering effects of the dollar’s past rally, a collapse in oil prices and weak global demand.”
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