US factory output increases 0.2% in October

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WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing output grew modestly in October, as autoworkers churned out fewer cars and trucks.

The Federal Reserve says output at manufacturing plants rose 0.2 percent in October. Gains came from the rising demand for machinery, plastics, clothing and furniture. Factory output has risen 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Total industrial production dipped 0.1 percent last month, due to a sharp decline in output from mines and utilities.

Manufacturing has steadily helped fuel economic growth for much of 2014, driven in large part by booming auto sales.

But in October, the automotive sector tapped the brakes for the third straight month. Auto production fell 1.2 percent in October, after declines of 1.9 percent in September and 7.2 percent in August.

BY JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

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