Thursday, February 15, 2007

January Industrial Output Down,Unemployment Up

   Now more on the continuing saga of the Bush clans booming economy.


WASHINGTON - Industrial output fell in January by the largest amount in 17 months, reflecting huge cutbacks at auto factories.

Federal Reserve reported Thursday that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities was down 0.5 percent in January, the biggest setback since Hurricane Katrina disrupted activity in the fall of 2005.

Half of the decline last month reflected a drop of 6 percent in output at auto and auto parts factories. Overall, manufacturing fell by 1.2 percent.

In addition to the cuts in the auto industry, output in the mining sector, which includes oil production, fell by 1.2 percent in January.

Jobless claims rose to 357,000 last week, the highest level since late November. The increase of 44,000 claims from the previous week was the biggest one-week increase since Sept. 10, 2005, when claims soared in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast.

The four-week moving average for claims rose to 326,250 last week, the highest level in nine weeks and an indication that conditions in the job market have softened.