Industrial Production Slid 0.6% in September

Washington, DC, October 16, 2020-Industrial production fell 0.6% in September, its first decline after four consecutive months of gains, according to the Federal Reserve. 

The index increased at an annual rate of 39.8% for the third quarter as a whole. Although production has recovered more than half of its February to April decline, the September reading was still 7.1% below its pre-pandemic February level. 

Manufacturing output decreased 0.3% in September and was 6.4% below February's level. The output of utilities dropped 5.6%, as demand for air conditioning fell by more than usual in September. 

Mining production increased 1.7% in September; even so, it was 14.8% below a year earlier. At 101.5% of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 7.3% lower in September than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.5 percentage point in September to 71.5%, a rate that is 8.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average but 7.3 percentage points above its low in April.