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Business briefs for 091620

Business briefs for 091620

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Industrial production slowed last month

WASHINGTON — U.S. industrial production slowed to a modest increase of 0.4% in August, far weaker than the strong bounce back recorded in previous months when factories were coming back to life.

The slight uptick followed gains of 3.5% in July and 6.1% in June, when the industrial sector knocked down by the pandemic began to rebound.

For August, manufacturing rose 1% but mining, which includes oil and gas exploration, fell 2.5%, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. Production at the nation’s utilities was off 0.4%.

It’s the fourth consecutive monthly increase after COVID-19 sent production plunging in March and April. But even with the gains over the summer, industrial production remains 7.3% below where it was in February, right before economic activity seized up in the pandemic.


Jobless rate rising despite reopenings

LONDON — Unemployment in the U.K. edged up in July even though large parts of the economy reopened after the coronavirus lockdown, a signal that the jobless rate is set to spike higher when a government salary-support scheme ends in the autumn.

The 104,000 rise in the number of people unemployed during the three-month period to July raised the total to 1.4 million, and the unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points to 4.1% — the biggest increase during the pandemic.

The rise in unemployment came even after the reopening of the hospitality sector in early July, following the reopening of shops selling items deemed as nonessential, such as clothes and books, a few weeks earlier.


Counterfeit money seized along border

PEMBINA, N.D. — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its seized $3.6 million in counterfeit cash along North Dakota’s border with Canada.

The agency initially targeted a commercial cargo of toy guns making its way through the Pembina Port of Entry last week. Officers found the shipment contained 36,000 fake $100 bills.

“Working with other federal partners, CBP officers were able to keep this counterfeit currency from entering into the economy,” said Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz.

The agency will destroy the counterfeit cash.

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