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U.S. industrial production falls in August due to Hurricane Harvey
WASHINGTON, Sep 15, 2017 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Copyright 2017 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY

U.S. industrial production in August fell for the first time in seven months due to Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

Industrial production, an indicator of manufacturing, mines and utilities output, declined 0.9 percent in August from the previous month, the first decline since January and the biggest decline since May 2009, the Fed said.

"Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in late August, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly 0.75 percentage point," the central bank said, adding petroleum refining, organic chemicals, and plastics materials and resins are the manufacturing industries with the largest estimated storm-related effects.

The manufacturing output, the largest component of the overall industrial production, dropped 0.3 percent in August. Meanwhile, mining output declined 0.8 percent and utilities output fell 5.5 percent last month.

A separate report from the U.S. Census Bureau on Friday showed that retail sales also dropped 0.2 percent in August, the biggest decline in six months.

The weaker industrial output and retail sales data in August might suggest a slowdown of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter of the year.

The U.S. economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the current quarter, lower than three percent in the previous quarter, according to the staff forecast from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released on Friday.

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