US industrial output in March suffered its worst month so far this year, according to new data from the Federal Reserve.

Factory production slipped 0.5% compared with February, the steepest fall for three months, after utilities output ended two consecutive monthly increases with a 4.1% slide.

However, analysts remain hopeful the swift end to the war in Iraq will have a positive effect on the economy.

“I think the US economy is on a solid footing for further recovery,” declared Al Broaddus, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia. “I believe successful resolution of the war and reduction of significant amount of uncertainty is going to be a plus.”

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff