This numbers US industrial production was flat in February, the Federal Reserve reported on Friday. The unchanged reading was in line with economists’ expectations, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal. Output rose a revised 0.3% in January, up from initial estimates of a flat reading, but fell sharply in November and December. Capacity utilization remained steady at 78% in February. That’s down from a high of 80.2% reached last April. Key Details: Manufacturing output downshifted to a slimmer 0.1% growth in February after a strong 1% gain in the previous month. Production of motor vehicles and parts fell 0.3% after a 0.6% jump in January. This is the first decline in four months. Excluding autos, total industrial production was unchanged. Utility output rose 0.5% in February on heating demand. Mining output, which includes oil and natural gas, fell 0.6% after rising 2% in the previous month. Big picture: Industrial production is on a weak path, economists said. Production is expected to continue to soften as interest rates rise. Lending conditions are expected to tighten further following concerns surrounding regional banks. What do they say? “Given the surveys going from bad to worse and the risks of turmoil in the banking sector, we suspect that further declines in manufacturing activity are still in the offing,” said Andrew Hunter, deputy chief economist at Capital Economics. Market Reaction: Stocks DJIA, -1.24% SPX, -1.10% were lower on Friday due to continued worries about the banking sector. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, at 3.404%, fell to 3.47%.
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