US output cools off in recovery struggle
US factory production cooled in August, pointing to a slower pace of growth as the economy struggled to sustain a recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s.
Industrial output rose 0.2pc after a 0.6pc gain in July that was smaller than previously estimated, figures from the Federal Reserve showed yesterday.
Manufacturing in the New York region expanded at the slowest pace in more than a year, according to another report from the central bank.
"The recovery has lost some of its upward momentum, but does not appear to be in any imminent danger," said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International in New York. "We're getting weak growth, but growth."
Ford is among companies not expecting to boost US output on concerns that a lack of jobs will hold back consumer spending, which accounts for about 70pc of the US economy.
Orders from abroad and the need for some companies to replace outdated equipment are supporting other manufacturers including Caterpillar.
Stocks fluctuated between gains and losses as speculation that takeovers will accelerate helped ease concerns about the strength of the recovery.
The S&P 500 Index fell 0.1pc in New York. Treasury notes advanced for a third day, led by five-year securities, on speculation Japan will buy shorter-term US debt.