WASHINGTON - Utility gains backed a rise in U.S. industrial production in September, while manufacturing was barely higher, Federal Reserve data showed Monday.
The Fed said industrial production rose 0.6% in the month, faster than August's 0.4% gain. Growth year-on-year was a modest 2.3%.
But most of the increase came from the utility sector, where production expanded 4.4% in part to meet an early cold snap in the West, after contracting 0.9% the month before. Utility output was up 2.5% from September 2012.
The manufacturing sector expanded by just 0.1%, and was up 2.6% from a year earlier. The automotive sector continued to be the main source of growth in manufacturing, rising 2% in September, and 11.3% year-on -year.
Industry capacity utilization rose slightly to 78.3%, due to the pickup in utility activity, while it remained flat in manufacturing, at 76.1%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013