WASHINGTON — Industrial production unexpectedly fell 0.2% in September, posting its first decline in 15 months, the Federal Reserve Board reported Monday.
Capacity utilization was 74.7% for the month, down from an upwardly revised 74.8% in August that was originally reported as 74.7%.
Economists expected a 0.2% increase in industrial production and anticipated capacity utilization of 74.8%, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters. Manufacturing output fell 0.2% and utility output sank 1.9% for the month.
“This is a disappointing surprise,” Adolfo Laurenti, an economist at Mesirow Financial, said in a research note. It is “the worst monthly reading since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009.”
Industrial production rose 4.8% at an annual rate in the third quarter, following 7% gains in the first and second quarters of 2010. August industrial production was unrevised at 0.2%.
In September, output of consumer goods declined 0.4%, and consumer durable goods fell 0.9%.