US industrial production down 0.5% in April

FILE - In this July 5, 2018, file photo workers assemble the Afloat water mattresses at the factory in Corona, Calif. On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, the Federal Reserve reports on U.S. industrial production for April. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. industrial production fell in April, dragged by a big drop in factory output as production of autos and auto parts continued to slide.

The Federal Reserve says industrial output — reflecting total production at factories, utilities and mines — dropped 0.5% in April after a 0.2% March gain. Industrial production fell 0.5% in February.

Manufacturing output fell 0.5%, led by a 2.6% decline in motor vehicles and parts, which has fallen in three of the past four months.

Production at the nation's utilities fell a sharp 3.5%. Production at mines, a sector that also covers oil and gas drilling, rose 1.6%.

Manufacturing has struggled over the past year, reflecting weakness in auto sales and the global economy.

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