The numbers: Industrial production inched down 0.2% in August, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.
The gain was below Wall Street expectations of a flat reading, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.
Capacity utilization also moved slightly lower to 80% in August from 80.2% in the prior month. Economists had forecast a 80.3% rate.
Key details: Strength seen in the July factory data did not carry over into August.
Manufacturing rose a slight 0.1% in August after a 0.6% gain in the prior month.
Motor vehicles and parts output fell 1.4% after a 3.2% jump in the prior month. Excluding autos, total industrial output fell 0.1%.
Utilities output fell 2.3% in August, the biggest drop since March. Mining output, which includes oil and natural gas, was flat in August after rising for five straight months.
Big picture: Economists didn’t expect the bounce in July to be sustained. Momentum in the factory sector is slowing amid rising inventories and fading domestic demand.