WASHINGTON – The beleaguered U.S. manufacturing sector saw production slide again in April, as the percentage of manufacturing capacity in use fell to its lowest point since 1991, according to a Federal Reserve report released on Monday.
The Fed said overall industrial output fell 0.3 percent in April, the seventh straight month that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities has fallen.
Capacity in use fell to 78.5 percent, the Fed said, the lowest since April 1991 when the country was emerging from recession. Capacity utilization at factories dropped to 77.1 percent, its lowest point since May 1991, when the use rate was also 77.1 percent.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected production to slip by a smaller 0.2 percent and capacity use to fall to 78.9 percent.