The nation's industrial production dropped in February, according to
the U.S. Federal Reserve. Output at U.S. factories, mines, and
utilities declined 1.4 percent, slightly worse than the 1.2 percent
average prediction by industry analysts. The drop included a 0.7
percent fall in manufacturing output, which occurred even though
production at automotive plants rose due to factories reopening after
extended shutdowns in January. The amount of factory capacity in use
fell to 70.9 percent, matching the lowest level since the Fed began
keeping records in 1967. Outside of manufacturing, the output of mines
dropped 0.4 percent and output from utilities dropped 7.7 percent, due
in large part to above-average temperatures in much of the nation.
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