Washington: US manufacturing continued its steady decline in July amid the ongoing trade war with China and slowing global economy, while the hurricane-hit oil sector also helped drag down total output, the Federal Reserve said. Production fell across the board in US manufacturing, with only rare bright spots, dropping 0.4% compared to June. The sector has fallen in four of the last six months and is down 1.5% so far this year, according to the data.
Total industrial production fell 0.2%, erasing the gain in June, and defying analysts who had expected a slight uptick, according to the report. Output also was pulled down by the 1.8% drop in mining after Hurricane Barry "caused a sharp but temporary decline in oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico," the Fed said. The volatile utilities sector jumped 3.1% last month as summer heat increased the need for air conditioning, nearly offsetting the sharp drop in June.