US factory output sees record slump in April as auto production nearly wiped out
Industrial output in the US fell sharply in April, led by a historic contraction in factory production.
According to the Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms, total industrial production dropped at a 11.2% month-on-month pace (Barclays Research: -8.0%).
Manufacturing production was weakest, slumping by 13.7% against March (Barclays: -10%), reaching its lowest level since August 1997, following a flat reading for March.
Output of durable goods fell by 19.3% on the month, led by a record drop in that of motor vehicles and parts, Commerce said.
The lockdowns in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in annual rate of production for light vehicles of only 70,000 in comparison to February's pace of approximately 11.0m units.
Declines of roughly 20% were also seen in the production of primary metal products, aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment.
Mining output meanwhile declined by 6.1% and that of utilities by 0.9%.