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U.S. Industrial Production Climbs 0.6% Amid Jumps In Utilities, Mining Output

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Reflecting jumps in utilities and mining output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing a much bigger than expected increase in U.S. industrial production in the month of November.

The Fed said industrial production climbed by 0.6 percent in November compared to economist estimates for 0.3 percent growth.

However, the industrial production data for October was revised to show a 0.2 percent drop compared to the previously reported 0.1 percent uptick.

The rebound in production was partly due to a spike in utilities output, which shot up by 3.3 percent in November after rising by 0.2 percent in October.

Mining output also showed a significant 1.7 percent jump in November after falling by 0.7 percent in October, while manufacturing output was unchanged after edging down by 0.1 percent in the previous month.

Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, noted manufacturing output probably would have dropped in November if not for a 2.5 percent spike in primary metals production.

"Even factoring in some rebound in December, manufacturing output is on track for a subdued 1% annualized gain in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown from the 4.0% increase in the third," Pearce said.

He added, "We expect that is a taste of things to come, with the stronger dollar and continued slowdown in demand in the rest of the world, including China, weighing on the sector more heavily in the months ahead."

The report also said capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose to 78.5 percent in November from a downwardly revised 78.1 percent in October.

Economists had expected capacity utilization to creep up to 78.6 percent from the 78.4 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the utilities and mining sectors climbed to 79.4 percent and 94.1 percent, respectively, while capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector edged down to 75.7 percent.

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