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US industrial production down 0.2% in Oct vs 0.1% increase expected

Welder welding baskets
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. industrial production fell for the second straight month in October, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday, raising concerns for the robustness of fourth-quarter economic growth.

The Fed said industrial production fell 0.2 percent last month after an unrevised 0.2 percent drop in September.

Industrial production tallied by the Fed comprises manufacturing, mining and electric and gas utilities.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial production to increase 0.1 percent last month.

The drop in output reflected a 1.5 percent decrease in the mining index. Utilities fell 2.5 percent.

The industrial sector has been hampered by a slowdown in global growth, low commodities prices and a strong dollar, which have reduced overseas demand for U.S. manufactured products.

Manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent on increases in nearly all major categories of durable goods, particularly wood products, nonmetallic mineral products and electrical equipment, appliances and components.

Manufacturing output fell 0.1 percent in September.

With overall output declining, the percentage of industrial capacity in use fell 0.2 percentage point in October to 77.5 percent, from an upwardly revised 77.7 percent in September.

The U.S. central bank views capacity use as a leading indicator in deciding how much further the economy can grow before sparking higher inflation.