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U.S. Industrial Production Inches Slightly Higher In July


After reporting a rebound in U.S. industrial production in the previous month, the Federal Reserve released a report on Wednesday showing production edged slightly higher in the month of July.

The Fed said industrial production inched up by 0.1 percent in July after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in June.

Economists had expected production to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The uptick in production reflected growth in manufacturing output, which rose by 0.3 percent in July after climbing by 0.8 percent in June.

"The more modest 0.3% increase in manufacturing output in July adds to the evidence that growth in the manufacturing sector has peaked," said Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "Even if a major escalation of tariff barriers is avoided, the appreciation of the dollar so far this year means that growth in the factory sector appears set to slow further over the coming months."

Meanwhile, the report said utilities output fell by 0.5 percent in July after dropping by 0.7 percent in the previous month.

Mining output also decreased after five consecutive months of growth, dipping by 0.3 percent in July after spiking by 2.9 percent in June.

The Fed also said capacity utilization in the industrial sector came in at 78.1 percent in July, unchanged from the upwardly revised reading in June.

Economists had expected capacity utilization to rise to 78.2 percent from the 78.0 percent originally reported for the previous month.

Capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector crept up to 75.9 percent, while capacity utilization in the mining and utilities sectors dropped to 92.0 percent and 77.5 percent, respectively.

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