FACTORY LULL: Industrial production fell in September for the first time since the recession ended in June 2009. Factories produced 0.2 percent less. Overall industrial production fell by the same amount.
DEARTH OF DEMAND: Factories enjoyed strong demand in the past year mainly because of business spending. Companies replaced worn-out equipment and restocked inventories after the recession ended. Now that demand has dried up.
MISSING CONSUMER: Economists hoped consumers would step in after the business spending cycle slowed. High unemployment and stagnant wage growth has kept that from happening.