US production slide appears to slow

Factory production fell 0.1 percent in December, one of the slightest declines in industry production during this recession, the Federal Reserve Board said Jan. 14. But factory output for all of 1982 fell 8 percent. The 1982 decline was the most serious since production dropped 8.9 percent in 1975.

Factory production has fallen for 15 of the previous 17 months. So far during the recession, factory production has dropped 12.5 percent, the Fed said.

The report, however, confirmed the year ended with some positive signs. Automobiles were assembled at an annual rate of 5.1 million units in December, a 13 percent increase from November. Business equipment saw production drop 0.3 percent but oil and gas well drilling picked up.

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