Washington - US factory production declined in January after two solid months of gains.

The weakness reflected a big drop in output at auto factories.

The Federal Reserve says factory production fell 0.4 percent in January from December.

That followed increases of 1.1 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November.

Production of autos and auto parts plunged 3.2 percent to drag the January figures lower.

The drop is likely temporary, given that auto sales have been rising.

Overall industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January compared with December.

Output In mining, the category that covers oil and gas drilling, fell 1 percent while utility output was up 3.5 percent. - Sapa-AP