Against the slightly disappointing inflation figures, industrial output was unchanged in April, following big rises in February and March. The rate of capacity use, a figure monitored closely by the Fed, fell slightly to 83.4 per cent. However, the Fed said a strike caused more than half of a 6.8 per cent fall in car and truck manufacture in April. Excluding motor vehicles, output was up 0.3 per cent compared to a 0.6 per cent increase in March.
"The key to next week's decision is the Fed's view of the likely pace of growth in the second half of the year," said Ian Shepherdson, an analyst at HSBC Markets in New York.Reuse content