By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- U.S. industrial output eked out its slowest growth in five months in May, as manufacturing output contracted under pressure from ongoing supply chain and input price problems.
Output from U.S. factories rose only 0.2% on the month, less than the 0.4% expected and a clear slowdown from the last three months when it has expanded at a clip of just under 1%. Manufacturing output fell 0.1%, the first time it has done so this year, according to the Federal Reserve.
Capacity utilization meanwhile edged up to 79.0% but remained below its long-term average of 79.5%.
The Fed highlighted energy and utilities among the sectors that contributed the most to growth, with a 1.3% rise in mining (which includes oil extraction) suggesting that the U.S. oil sector is slowly responding to this year's surge in prices by raising output.
Utilities' contribution was due largely to increased demand for air-conditioning and cooling caused by unseasonably warm weather, the Fed added.