US industrial production drops
US industrial production dropped 0.4 percent in October as superstorm Sandy held down output in the Northeast region, the US Federal Reserve reported.
The October decrease in industrial production, an indicator of the output of mines, factories and utilities, followed a revised 0.2 percent gain in the previous month, reported Xinhua.
The Fed said hurricane Sandy, which knocked out power in the Northeast, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by nearly 1 percentage point.
Manufacturing output, the largest component of the overall industrial production, fell 0.9 percent last month. The output of mining sector advanced 1.5 percent, and the output of utilities edged down 0.1 percent.
The report also showed that overall industrial capacity utilization -- a key measure of slack in the industrial economy -- stood at 77.8 percent in October, 0.4 percentage point lower than the previous month and 2.5 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2011.