U.S. Industrial Production Suffers Worst Crash in 101 Years

Gloomy photo of a collapsing vintage brick industrial building left abandoned with crazy cloudy sky
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The lockdowns aimed at combatting the coronavirus pandemic pushed industrial production in the U.S. into its steepest monthly decline in records dating back to 1919.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that industrial production dropped 11.2 percent in April.

Economists had expected an even bigger slide of 12 percent in April.

Manufacturing production plunged a record 13.7 percent, led by the shutdown of most auto manufacturing in the U.S.  Production of motor vehicles and parts fell 70 percent in the month. Excluding autos, manufacturing output was down 10.3 percent.

Production of consumer goods fell 11.7 percent. Production of business equipment crashed 17.3 percent, highlighting how much strain the shutdowns are putting on American businesses.

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