American industry suffered the most severe plunge on record last month with factories, mines and utilities battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Federal Reserve said Friday that its industrial production index tumbled a record 11.2% in April. Manufacturing output also posted a record drop — 13.7% — as the production of cars, trucks and auto parts plummeted more than 70%. Production of aerospace and other transportation products, metals and furniture fell around 20%. Output dropped 6.1% at mines and 0.9% at utilities.
The implosion of the U.S. industrial sector was not unexpected, but the scale of the collapse was stunning. Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets,…