(AP) Washington— Factories produced more goods for the fifth straight month in January as strong auto sales spurred demand for new cars and trucks. But overall industrial production fell for the first time in 19 months.
The Federal Reserve said today output by the nation’s factories, mines and utilities dipped 0.1 percent last month. The main reason for the decline was utility output fell back from a weather-related peak in December. Manufacturers increased their output 0.3 percent.
Industrial production has increased by more than 10 percent since hitting its recession low in June 2009. But it remains about 6 percent below its pre-recession peak in 2007.
Production increased in December by the largest amount in seven months. The Fed revised December’s production gains upward to 1.2 percent from 0.8 percent.