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US industrial production slips again

BBC News BBC News 15/04/2016
factory workers © Getty Images factory workers

Industrial production in the US fell back for a second consecutive month in March, led by drops in mining and car manufacturing.

Production was down 2% year-over-year, the Federal Reserve reported on Friday.

Weak demand from overseas markets has led to overall production for the year falling by 0.6%.

And motor vehicle and car parts production fell by 1.6% after climbing by 0.8% the previous month.

Back from the dead?

However, manufacturing may be set for a rebound, as the value of the dollar falls.

Steve Murphy, an economist from Capital Economics, said the sector was "showing a Lazarus-like rise from the dead".

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management reported production rose in March, with experts largely seeing these surveys as a indicator of future output.

Another report, the Fed's Empire State index, which measures manufacturing activity in New York State, also rose, climbing to its highest level in over a year.

But mining is expected to continue its decline in coming months.

On Wednesday, the largest US coal miner Peabody Energy filed for bankruptcy.

The industry has taken hits from low oil prices, clean energy, and mounting government regulations.

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