INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION: Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased a modest 0.4 percent in September after falling 1.4 percent in August.
FACTORY OUTPUT: Output in manufacturing, the most important segment of industrial production, was up only 0.2 percent in September and declined at annual rate of 0.9 percent in the July-September quarter. It was the first quarterly drop since the spring of 2009 when the country was still in recession.
OUTLOOK: Economists hope that recent indications of strengthening consumer demand will help support a rebound in manufacturing. But there are concerns that a global slowdown will hurt U.S. exports.