updated 5/15/2009 9:21:47 AM ET 2009-05-15T13:21:47

The Federal Reserve says the nation's industrial production fell in April by the smallest amount in six months, evidence that the pace of the economy's decline is slowing.

The Fed said Friday output by the nation's factories, mines and utilities fell 0.5 percent last month, after revised declines of 1.7 percent in March and 1 percent in February. Analysts expected a drop of 0.6 percent last month.

Still, the report shows U.S. industry remains weak. Industrial production has fallen in 15 of the 17 months since the recession began in December 2007, and is down 16 percent since then.

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