Tepid economic data could lead Fed to delay rate rise
U.S. factory output fell, consumers cut back at retailers and wholesale prices went nowhere in August, the latest evidence of a less-than-robust economy. The weak numbers could give the Federal Reserve further reason to hold off on raising interest rates when it meets next week. The Fed reported Thursday that factory production fell 0.4 percent last month. Overall industrial production — which combines manufacturing, mines and utilities — dropped by an identical amount. The Commerce Department said that retail sales fell in August for the first time in five months.