Factory Production Drops for Third Consecutive Month

Factory production in the U.S. declined in February for a third consecutive month, a sign cutbacks in manufacturing will hold back economic growth this quarter.

The 0.2% decrease at manufacturers followed a 0.3% drop in January that was initially estimated as a gain, figures from the Federal Reserve in Washington showed March 16. Total industrial production, which also includes mines and power plants, climbed 0.1%, propelled by a record surge in utility use as temperatures plummeted.