Manufacturing output tumbled 0.6% last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday, largely because production of cars and auto parts plunged 7.1% amid the GM strike. The drop in factory production was the biggest since April. The GM strike ended late in October.
Overall industrial production -- which includes factories, utilities and mines -- fell 0.8%, the biggest drop since May 2018. Industrial output is down 1.1% from October 2018.
The drops were bigger than economists had expected.
Excluding auto output, industrial production still fell 0.5% and manufacturing output slipped 0.1%.
Mining production slid 0.7%, as oil and gas drilling fell last month, but is up 2.7% over the past year. Utility production fell 2.6% as Americans used less electricity.
U.S. factories were using 74.7% of their capacity in October, lowest since September 2017, and is down 4.1% since October 2018.