Industrial production declined in April by the most in eight months, indicating American manufacturers will provide little support for an economy beset by weaker global markets and federal budget cuts.
The larger-than-forecast 0.5 percent decrease in output at factories, mines and utilities followed a revised 0.3 percent gain that was weaker than first reported, Federal Reserve figures showed today in Washington. An increase in homebuilder optimism indicated housing remains the economy’s bright spot.
A European recession that extended to a record sixth quarter and slower growth in China are curbing sales for U.S. companies such as Deere & Co. A second straight decrease in factory production combined with limited inflation show Fed policy makers have room to maintain record monetary stimulus as they try to bolster the expansion.
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