Monday, Aug. 15, 9:15 a.m.
Output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities probably edged up just 0.1% in July, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. Output increased 0.5% in June, but utility output, which jumped 5.4%, accounted for almost all of the rise as extremely hot weather pushed up electricity use. In July, however, utility use fell back, and the small gain in factory jobs and a drop in the workweek suggest that manufacturing production struggled to increase last month, after rising just 0.2% in June. Auto output likely fell in July. As a result, operating rates for all industry fell to 83.8% in July, from 83.9% in June.