WASHINGTON - An unusually warm December slowed U.S. energy output, pushing overall industrial production lower, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.
Industrial output fell 0.1% month-over-month in December, after a strong 1.3% gain in November.
The December decline reflected a steep 7.3% drop in the output of utilities, "as warmer-than-usual temperatures reduced demand for heating," the central bank said in its monthly report.
Excluding utilities, total industrial production rose 0.7% in December.
Mining production rose 2.2%, largely reflecting increases in oil and gas extraction. Mining output had fallen 0.3 percent in the prior month.
Manufacturing rose for the fourth consecutive month, by 0.3%.
For the fourth quarter, U.S. industrial production climbed at an annual rate of 5.6% in widespread gains.
Year-over-year, industrial output was up a solid 4.9% in December, led by an 11.1% jump in mining.
In the final month of the year, the capacity utilization rate slipped 0.3 percentage point to 79.7%, below the long-run average of 80.1%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015