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Manufacturing Output, Capacity Utilization Rise

By John S. McClenahen Production in U.S. factories rose 0.3% in December 2003, and capacity utilization in manufacturing increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 74.5%, the Federal Reserve Board reported on Jan. 16. Capacity utilization among the nation's manufacturers grew steadily throughout the fourth quarter of 2003 as did production -- although December's increase in manufacturing output was well below its 1% increase in November. Overall U.S. industrial production, which includes mining and utilities in addition to manufacturing, increased 0.1% in December last year. Capacity utilization for all of industry was unchanged at 75.8%.

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