Industrial production plunged 0.9% in August, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

The decrease followed a revised 0.4% gain in July, first reported as a 0.2% rise.

Capacity utilization fell to 76.1% in August July’s revised 76.9%, first reported as 76.7%.

Economists polled by IFR Markets projected a 0.2% increase for industrial production and a 76.8% capacity utilization rate.

Manufacturing output dipped 0.3% in August, following a flat reading in July.

Utilities’ output was down 5.5% after increasing 1.5% in July, while mining was off 0.8% after a 1.3% gain the month before.

“Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in late August, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly 3/4 percentage point,” the Fed said. “The manufacturing industries with the largest estimated storm-related effects were petroleum refining, organic chemicals, and plastics materials and resins.”

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.