WASHINGTON (AP) -- Industrial production fell in October, the second decline of the year. Output at factories was flat and production at utilities dropped sharply as unusually warm weather depressed demand.
The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities declined by 0.1 percent last month, following a moderate 0.4 percent increase in September.
The only other decline this year in industrial production was in July, 0.2 percent.
The latest snapshot of industrial activity -- along with another report Wednesday showing a small increase in business inventories -- is consistent with other data showing that the economy's red-hot growth from earlier in the year is cooling.
Output at factories was flat in October following a solid 0.5 percent rise the month before. Production declined for big-ticket consumer goods, in large part reflecting a drop in the output of automotive products, the Fed said. The production of household appliances also fell sharply.
In another report, inventories at U.S. companies edged up in September, posting the smallest gain since the beginning of 1999, while sales rose modestly.
Stockpiles of goods on shelves and backlots nationwide rose just 0.1 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted $1.21 trillion after posting a solid 0.7 percent increase in August, the Commerce Department reported.
The advance was weaker than the 0.3 percent rise many analysts were expecting.
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