Declining output of cars and machinery led U.S. factory production to fall unexpectedly in April, a sign the economy is losing a step as a trade war with China intensifies. The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday manufacturing production fell 0.5 percent last month, the third decline in four months. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output would edge up 0.1 percent during the month. Motor vehicles and parts production dropped 2.6 percent in April. Inventories at U.S. businesses have swelled in recent months, with some trying to stock their shelves before new increases in tariffs on Chinese goods took hold. An inventory overhang in the automobile sector is weighing on production. Even excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output dropped 0.3 percent in April. Factories produced fewer pieces of machinery and electrical equipment like appliances, according to the Fed report. The outlook for the manufacturing […]