Output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities nearly stalled last month after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent gain in July. Capacity utilization (search) was unchanged at 77.3 percent in August.
Wall Street analysts had expected overall industrial production to advance 0.5 percent in August.
Manufacturing production, which accounts for more than four-fifths of overall industrial output, grew 0.5 percent in August, cooling off from its 0.9 percent rise in July. Factories ran at 76.8 percent of full capacity, their highest operating rate since March 2001 and up from 76.6 percent in July.
The other two components of industrial production, mining and utilities, both contracted in August. Mining output fell 1.1 percent after a 1.3 percent increase in July. Utilities fell for the third consecutive month, with production down 2.4 percent in August after a 2.0 percent fall in July.