Manufacturing Output Rises In August

By Agence France-Presse U.S. industrial production rose a modest 0.1% in August, the Federal Reserve said Sept. 15, below private forecasts for a 0.5% increase. The central bank, however, upped its estimate for July to show a 0.6% gain for output of U.S. factories, mines and utilities. And the June figure was also revised upward to show a more modest 0.2% decline. The Fed report showed capacity utilization remained unchanged at 77.3% in August after July's initial estimate was revised upward from 77.1%. Analysts said the details of the report were better than indicated by the headline figure, because of the revisions and because manufacturing output rose 0.5% in August after rising a revised 0.9% in July. The declines included a 2.4% fall in utilities' output in August and a 1.1% drop in U.S. mining production. "August's 0.5% gain in manufacturing output confirms that the manufacturing sector is back in the expansion mode," said Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist for Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an Arlington, Va.-based business research organization. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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