Production Slow Down Mirrors Economic Outlook in United States

The economy's struggle to pick up steam after a dismal first quarter was underscored by other data on Friday showing a sharp drop in consumer confidence in early May and only a mild rebound in factory activity in New York state.
U.S. industrial production fell for a fifth straight month in April due in part to a further decline in oil and gas drilling, painting a lackluster picture of economic growth in the second quarter.
A plunge of 14.5 percent in oil and gas well drilling pushed mining production down 0.8 percent last month. It was the fourth straight monthly decline in mining output.
The economy was slammed earlier in the year by bad weather, port disruptions, the strong dollar and deep spending cuts by energy firms.
Coming on the heels of weak retail sales and producer inflation data this week, Friday's reports suggest the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates anytime soon.



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