US industrial production rose in May, but factories struggle



U.S. industrial production improved in May, but manufacturers showed weakness despite eking out a slight gain.

The Federal Reserve says industrial output, which includes factories, utilities and mines, rose 0.4% in May, after tumbling 0.4% in April.

Manufacturing output increased just 0.2% last month, not enough to overcome declines in prior months. Factory production is down 1.5% since the end of 2018, an indication of the potential damage from the import taxes the Trump administration has placed on China. During the first quarter of this year, motor vehicle production plunged 14.9%. Furniture output fell 5.8%. Clothing production has dropped 22.6%.

Production at the nation’s utilities rose 2.1%. Production at mines, a sector that also covers oil and gas drilling, advanced a modest 0.1%.

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