Soviet output trails target; US factory lull eases off

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The two superpowers reported early-'82 industrial output figures.

Soviet factory output rose 2.6 percent in the first five months, according to official statistics, but the overall growth target of 4.7 percent for the year now seems out of reach. Though production results showed output was still below 1981 levels at the end of May, there were some significant successes, especially in the gas industry. Steel still lags behind last year's figures.

Stateside, the Federal Reserve Board said industrial production declined 0.2 percent in May, showing the recession may be running out of steam. The Fed reported US factory output declined 0.8 percent in March and April. It also said it was the recession that drove down the operating rate for the nation's factories to 70.8 percent of capacity. In the US, too, steel is lagging; operations fell to just 46.9 percent of capacity in May, the lowest since a strike 23 years ago.

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