US factory output rises in April

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: US industrial production rose in April as manufacturing increased for the first time in three months, but only after a sharp March decline, Federal Reserve data showed on Tuesday.

Total industrial output rose 0.7 percent in April, but following a 0.9 percent decline in March, worse than the originally reported 0.6 percent fall.

Over 12 months, April industrial output was down 1.1 percent.

The output of manufacturing, which accounts for about 75 percent of US industrial production, climbed 0.3 percent last month, the same amount as March’s drop.


Most durable goods industries recorded gains, led by machinery and motor vehicles and parts.

“The combination of a strong dollar and weak global growth has been weighing heavily on manufacturing via exports, though domestic demand fundamentals are helping offset some of the weakness,” said Ilir Hysa, an analyst at Moody’s Analytics. “Consumers are buying autos, and motor vehicle production is rising.”

After unseasonably warm weather in March, more normal weather conditions returned in April, pushing the output of utilities up 5.8 percent, the largest advance since February 2007.

Mining production continued to reel as coal and oil and gas companies retrench spending in the face of lower energy prices. Mining output fell 2.3 percent April and, compared with 12 months ago, was down 13.4 percent.

AFP

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