Economy

GM strike pushed US factory output down 0.5% in September

Key Points
  • U.S. factory output slumped 0.5% in September, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.
  • A strike at General Motors caused a steep decline in auto production amid broader struggles for manufacturers.
  • Total industrial production, which includes mining and utilities as well as manufacturing, slipped 0.4% in September.
A worker assembles components on a diesel engine at the Cummins Seymour Engine Plant in Seymour, Indiana, Jan. 29, 2019.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. factory output slumped 0.5% in September, as a strike at General Motors caused a steep decline in auto production amid broader struggles for manufacturers.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that manufacturing production has fallen 0.9% over the past 12 months, a reflection of the disruptions and uncertainties caused by the U.S.-China trade war.

The GM strike led to a 4.2% decline last month in the making of autos. Excluding autos, factory output slipped a more modest 0.1% in September.

Total industrial production, which includes mining and utilities as well as manufacturing, slipped 0.4% in September.

Mining output fell 1.3% last month because of less crude oil being extracted and fewer wells being drilled. Production at utilities improved 1.4% as warm weather boosted demand for electricity.

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Economy

US housing starts fall from a 12-year high

Key Points
  • U.S. homebuilding tumbled from a more than a 12-year high in September, but single-family home construction rose for a fourth straight month.
  • The report suggested the housing market remains supported by lower mortgage rates even as the economy is slowing.
  • Housing starts declined 9.4% to 1.256 million units last month as construction in the volatile multi-family housing segment dropped, the Commerce Department said.