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US Industrial Production Up 0.8% in December

The December gain was the largest since November 2014, and above analysts’ expectations for a 0.6% increase, with manufacturing up 0.2%.

Industrial output jumped in December, retracing the decline in November, which was bigger than originally reported, with consumer goods and utilities leading the way, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

The Industrial Production index rose 0.8% compared to November, when the index was revised down to show a 0.7% drop. The December gain was the largest since November 2014, and above analysts’ expectations for a 0.6% increase. Output was up 0.5% compared to December 2015.

The monthly increase was driven by a jump in consumer durables, mostly autos, which outweighed the drop in home electronics, to fuel a 1.1% gain, after a 1.0% drop in November. And a return to more normal winter temperatures after an unseasonably warm November pushed the 6.6% surge in utilities output last month, the largest increase since December 1989.

Manufacturing rose 0.2% compared to November, but mining output was unchanged as increased oil and gas extraction was not enough to offset the declines in other mining. Oil and gas drilling surged 9.3% in the month, but was still 10.5% below the year-ago level.

Mining was down 2.8% from December 2015, while utilities increased 6.2%.

Industrial capacity utilized in the month rose to 75.5% from 74.9% in November, and was up 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2017

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