US production posts surprise decline


US industrial output posted an unexpected decline in August, the Federal Reserve said today in a report that raised concerns about the manufacturing sector's fragile rebound.

Manufacturing output, the largest portion of the total production, dipped 0.1 per cent. Businesses also operated at a slower pace in the month. Capacity utilisation decreased to 76 per cent from July's revised 76.2 per cent.

"Automotive products, which posted large gains in June and July, decreased 0.5 per cent. Output also declined in the other major market groups within consumer durables - home electronics and appliances, furniture and carpeting," the Fed said.