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Industrial production decreased 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.6 percent in July. Manufacturing output also declined 0.4 percent in August, reversing its increase in July; the level of the index in August is little changed from its level in March. Following two consecutive monthly increases, the index for utilities fell back 1.4 percent in August. Even so, the index was 1.7 percent above its year-earlier level, as hot temperatures this summer boosted the usage of air conditioning.
The output of mining moved up 1.0 percent in August, its fourth consecutive monthly increase following an extended downturn; the index, however, was still about 9 percent below its year-ago level. At 104.4 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in August was 1.1 percent lower than its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in August to 75.5 percent, a rate that is 4.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2015) average.
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