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Softness in U.S. manufacturing production continued into March, suggesting that sluggish economic growth around the globe has become a drag.
Manufacturing production was expected to rise 0.3 percent last month but instead came in unchanged, Federal Reserve data released Tuesday showed. Production fell in the first two months of 2019, including a 0.3 percent decline in February. Taken together, the monthly data show that output declined in the first quarter at an annual rate of 1.1 percent, the first quarterly decline since 2017.
This suggests that manufacturing will not contribute much to overall growth in 2019.
The broader category of industrial production–which includes the output of factories, mines and utilities–fell 0.1 percent in March. Output from utilities rose 0.2 percent and output declined 0.8 percent. Mining had been a source of growth in industrial output and even...
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