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U.S. Industrial Production Flat Amid Continued Drop In Utilities Output

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With a steep drop in utilities output offsetting a jump in mining output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing that U.S. industrial production came in flat in the month of February.

The Fed said industrial production was unchanged in February after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in January.

Economists had expected production to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.3 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The report said mining output surged up by 2.7 percent in February following the 2.2 percent jump in January.

Manufacturing output also rose by 0.5 percent for the second straight month, reflecting the sixth consecutive monthly increase.

However, the Fed said utilities output plummeted by 5.7 percent in February after tumbling by 5.8 percent in January amid continued unseasonably warm weather.

The report also said capacity utilization for the industrial sector edged down to 75.4 percent in February from a revised 75.5 percent in January.

The capacity utilization rate had been expected to rise to 75.5 percent from the 75.3 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the utilities sector plunged to 70.9 percent, while capacity utilization in the mining and manufacturing sectors rose to 80.5 percent and 75.6 percent, respectively.

by RTT Staff Writer

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