Reflecting a substantial rebound in utilities output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Tuesday showing that U.S. industrial production increased in line with economist estimates in the month of March.
The report said industrial production climbed by 0.5 percent in March after inching up by 0.1 percent in February. The increase in production matched the consensus estimate.
Utilities output showed a significant increase, spiking by 8.6 percent in March after tumbling by 5.8 percent 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 percent in March after jumping by 2.9 percent in February, while manufacturing output fell by 0.4 percent after rising by 0.3 percent.
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 percent in March from a revised 75.7 percent in February. Economists had expected capacity utilization to climb to 76.2 percent.
While capacity utilization in the utilities sector jumped to 75.7 percent, capacity utilization in the mining and manufacturing sectors dipped to 81.9 percent and 75.3 percent, respectively.
by RTT Staff Writer
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