Industrial production in the nation was flat in December while capacity utilization fell 0.2% to 81.4, according to data released by the Federal Reserve Board yesterday.

The unchanged production level followed a 0.3% increase the previous month, while November capacity use was revised up to 81.6 from the initially reported 81.5.

IFR Markets had forecast a 0.5% decline in production and an 81.2% level for capacity utilization.

“For the fourth quarter, output fell 1.0% (annual rate), the first quarterly decrease since the fourth quarter of 2006. At 114.0% of its 2002 average, total industrial production in December was 1.5% above its year-earlier level,” the Fed said. “Output in the manufacturing sector was unchanged in December. The output of utilities decreased 0.2% in December as a result of a decline at gas utilities; the output at mines edged up 0.1% after an increase of 1.0% in November.”

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