US factories cut output in May for 2nd time in 3 months as auto production drops

WASHINGTON – U.S. factories produced less in May than April, as automakers cut back on output for the first time in six months. The report indicates that manufacturing, a key driver of the economic growth, is slowing.

The Federal Reserve says factory output declined 0.4 per cent last month, after increasing 0.7 per cent in April. Auto production fell 1.5 per cent, the first drop since November. Auto sales rose sharply earlier this year but slowed in May.

Overall industrial production, which includes mines and utilities, dipped 0.1 per cent, after a solid 1 per cent rise in April. Both mines and utilities increased production.