WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Industrial output declined in November for the first time in seven months as manufacturing activity slumped, countering recent signs of improvement in the economy.
Production in the industrial sector eased 0.2 percent last month, the first drop since April, following a 0.7 percent gain in October. Analysts in a Reuters poll had been looking for a 0.2 percent rise.
A measure of how fully firms are using available resources, capacity utilization, eased to 77.8 from 78.0.
The pullback in factory activity was led by a 3.4 percent decrease in motor vehicles and parts. But even excluding that drag, manufacturing output was still down 0.2 percent.
Mining production rose 0.1 percent, and there was a 0.2 percent rise for utilities.
Reporting by Pedro da Costa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama