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US industrial production unexpectedly shrank in January declining by the most in four months.

Industrial production — a measure of everything made by factories, mines and utilities —declined 0.3 per cent in January from the previous month when it climbed a downwardly revised 0.6 per cent, according to data from the Federal Reserve. That compared with economists’ expectations for output to remain flat.

The decline was led by a 5.7 per cent drop in output by utilities, while manufacturing — which, has in the past been weighed down by the strength in the US dollar and a slump in crude prices — remained unchanged.

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