Hurricane Harvey damage sends U.S. industrial production down most in 8 years
WASHINGTON — U.S. industrial output plunged 0.9 percent in August, the most in eight years, mostly because of Hurricane Harvey’s damage to the oil refining, plastics and chemicals industries.
The storm, which slammed into the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana late last month, lowered industrial production by about 0.75 percentage point, the Federal Reserve said Friday. That suggests production would have slipped without the storm.
The Gulf Coast is home to many of the nation’s oil refiners, and petroleum is a key component in the manufacturing of plastics and chemicals.
Manufacturing is up since last summer as the dollar has fallen in value, which makes U.S. goods cheaper overseas. Manufacturing production fell 0.3 percent last month, though the Fed said that without the hurricane, it would have increased 0.5 percent.