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U.S. industrial production rebounds more than expected

Christian Fernsby |
Reflecting a bounceback in motor vehicle and parts output following the end of the strike at General Motors (GM), the Federal Reserve released a report showing U.S. industrial production rebounded by more than expected in the month of November.

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The report said industrial production jumped by 1.1 percent in November after tumbling by a revised 0.9 percent in October.

Economists had expected industrial production to climb by 0.8 percent compared to the 0.8 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected rebound came as manufacturing output surged up by 1.1 percent after falling by 0.7 percent for two straight months.

Excluding motor vehicles and parts, total industrial production and manufacturing output rose by 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

The report also showed a substantial rebound in utilities output, which spiked by 2.9 percent in November after plunging by 2.4 percent in October.

On the other hand, the Fed said mining output edged down by 0.2 percent in November after sliding by 0.8 percent in the previous month.

"Boeing's decision to halt production of the 737 Max aircraft in January will wreak havoc on the manufacturing figures, but there are signs emerging that activity in the factory sector is beginning to turn a corner," said Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "Output still looks set to fall in the fourth quarter overall, but with the global backdrop stabilizing, trade tensions easing and the dollar no longer appreciating, prospects for the industrial sector look set to brighten a touch in 2020."

Capacity utilization in the industrial sector increased to 77.3 percent in November from 76.6 percent in October, while economists had expected capacity utilization to rise to 77.4 percent.

The report said capacity utilization in the manufacturing and utilities sectors climbed to 75.2 percent and 77.3 percent, respectively, while capacity utilization in the mining sector dipped to 88.6 percent.

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