Industrial output rises on gains in manufacturing

Posted on 11 Apr 2018 and read 403 times
Industrial output rises on gains in manufacturing In its monthly report, the Federal Reserve said US industrial production jumped 1.1% in February — the largest increase in four months — due to a weather-related rebound in construction and a rise in output from the country’s oil and gas fields and mines.

Meanwhile, manufacturing output rose 1.2%, the biggest gain since October.

The US central bank’s measure of the industrial sector comprises manufacturing and mining, along with electric and gas utilities.

February’s increase in output was driven by a 2.3% rise in construction supplies and a recovery in the output of business equipment, which had stalled in the prior three months, although the ‘utilities index’ fell nearly 5% after a wave of unseasonably warm weather reduced demand for heating.

In the 12 months to February, overall industrial output rose 4.4%.

The percentage of industrial capacity in use rose 0.7% in February to 78.1% — the highest since January 2015.

Federal Reserve officials look to capacity use as a signal for how much further the economy can accelerate before sparking higher inflation.

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