Economic Report: Industrial production slumps 0.5% in April

May 15
18:52 2019

A worker welds metal components onto a round baler at the New Holland Ltd. Haytools assembly plant in New Holland, Pennsylvania U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.

The numbers: Industrial production in April slumped 0.5%, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday in a downbeat report that included downward revisions.

Capacity utilization fell sharply to 77.9% from an upwardly revised 78.8%.

Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 0.1% drop for production and a decline in utilization fell to 78.6%.

What happened: Most major market groups reported worse production in April, the Fed said. There were drops in automotive, chemical products and consumer energy products.

The output of utilities fell 3.5% in April, as demand for heating decreased because of temperatures that were warmer than normal.

Market reaction: Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.82%  were pointing lower on Wednesday, with data on retail sales also being released and showing a 0.2% decline.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury TMUBMUSD10Y, -2.05%   fell 4 basis points to 2.37%.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch’s Washington bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWgoldstein.

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