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U.S. Industrial Production Climbs Slightly More Than Expected In April

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A report released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday showed industrial production in the U.S. increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of April.

The Fed said industrial production climbed by 0.7 percent in April, matching the upwardly revised increase in March.

Economists had expected industrial production to rise by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.5 percent growth originally reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected increase in production was partly due to another jump in utilities output, which surged up by 1.9 percent in April after spiking by 6.1 percent in March.

Mining output also shot up by 1.1 percent in April after climbing by 0.8 percent in March, while manufacturing output rose by 0.5 percent after coming in unchanged in the previous month.

"Overall the report suggests the industrial sector is in buoyant shape," said James Knightley, Chief International Economist at ING. "Nonetheless, if it hadn't been for the oil and gas revolution the story wouldn't be quite as rosy."

He added, "Manufacturing output is still more than 5 percent down on the peak of November 2007, which means President Trump's is unlikely to reverse course on his claims of unfair foreign competition anytime soon."

The report said capacity utilization in the industrial sector rose to 78.0 percent in April from a downwardly revised 77.6 percent in March. Capacity utilization had been expected to rise to 78.4 percent.

Capacity utilization in the utilities sector climbed to 79.2 percent, while capacity utilization in the manufacturing and mining sectors edged up to 75.8 percent and 90.6 percent, respectively.

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