Industrial production fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% for April, according to a Federal Reserve report (link opens in PDF) released today.


After increasing a revised 0.3% for March, analysts proved too optimistic with expectations of a slight 0.2% slump.

A 3.7% drop in utilities production drove the decrease, as March's wintry weather eased into milder April temperatures.

Manufacturing also fell 0.4% after decreasing 0.3% in March. Analysts had predicted a 0.1% rise, but 1.5% drops for apparel, leather, petroleum, and coal products pushed production down. Capacity utilization rates also slumped 0.5 percentage points to 77.8%, 2.4 points below its 40-year average.

In the last 12 months, total industrial production has managed a 1.9% increase, led by a 3.4% jump in business equipment and a 2.4% increase in consumer goods. Manufacturing is up 1.3%.