US factory output declined sharply in November

WASHINGTON (AP) ? U.S. industrial production fell for the first time in seven months as factories made fewer cars, electronics and appliances.

The Federal Reserve says that output at the nation’s factories, utilities and mines fell 0.2 percent last month.

Factory output, the biggest component of industrial production, decreased 0.4 percent, mainly because of steep decline in the production of motor vehicles and parts. Production of home electronics, business equipment and supplies and apparel also fell.

Factory output and overall industrial output last decreased in April. Supply chains had been disrupted by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and factories couldn’t obtain needed parts. Auto production fell sharply, then recovered strongly this summer and fall.

Without the volatile automotive category, factory output decreased 0.2 percent last month.