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The U.S. economy is still struggling to shake off a disappointing start to 2014 … and this time the weather can’t be blamed for the lethargy.

American industrial output unexpectedly slipped in April by 0.6 percent – its worst performance since August 2012. March’s performance was upwardly revised to a 0.9 percent gain, though, according to data released by the Federal Reserve.

U.S. industry operated at only 78.6 percent of its capacity last month – down from 79.3 percent in March. Not exactly firing on all cylinders, huh?

“While soft-survey-driven data shows sentiment rebounding after Americans hibernation, it appears the hard data on what they are actually producing – now that weather is behind us – is dismal,” the website Zero Hedge notes.

Bloomberg offered a more cheerful tone, referring to the April data as “a pause after the biggest back-to-back monthly gains in manufacturing since 2010.”

So … you can swallow the bitter pill or the happy pill.

Your pick …