US industrial production fell 0.1 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production slipped 0.1 percent in May, primarily dragged by a drop in manufacturing caused by a major fire at a parts supplier for trucks.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that the manufacturing component of industrial production fell 0.7 percent in May largely because of this disruption in truck assemblies.

A May 2 fire damaged the main plant at the Meridian Magnesium Products of America factory in Eaton Rapids, Michigan that makes motor vehicle parts. As a result, Ford had to temporarily lay off 7,600 workers as it cuts production of the F-Series pickup truck, the top-selling vehicle in America.

Output at factories for metal, electrical equipment and apparel also declined, along with the 6.5 percent drop for motor vehicles and parts.

Still, factory output has improved 1.7 percent over the past year and overall industrial production has increased 3.5 percent. Other reports point to continued gains for manufacturers, although the tariffs announced by the Trump administration have generated turmoil and uncertainty.

The utilities component of industrial output rose 1.1 percent in May. Mining output advanced 1.8 percent.

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