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U.S. industrial production climbs 0.5%

Staff Writer |
Reflecting a substantial rebound in utilities output, the Federal Reserve released a repor showing that U.S. industrial production increased in line with economist estimates in the month of March.

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The report said industrial production climbed by 0.5% in March after inching up by 0.1% in February.

Utilities output showed a significant increase, spiking by 8.6% in March after tumbling by 5.8% in the previous month.

The Fed said the rebound came as demand for heating returned to seasonal norms after being suppressed by unusually warm weather in February.

The report also said mining output edged up by 0.1% in March after jumping by 2.9% in February, while manufacturing output fell by 0.4% after rising by 0.3%.

The central bank said the pullback in manufacturing output was led by a large step-down in the production of motor vehicles and parts.

Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose to 76.1% in March from a revised 75.7% in February.

While capacity utilization in the utilities sector jumped to 75.7%, capacity utilization in the mining and manufacturing sectors dipped to 81.9% and 75.3%, respectively.

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