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U.S. Industrial Production Jumps Much More Than Expected In December

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The Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing U.S. industrial production jumped by much more than expected in the month of December.

The Fed said industrial production surged up by 1.6 percent in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.5 percent in November.

Economists had expected production to rise by 0.4 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

The spike in production came as utilities output soared by 6.2 percent in December after plunging by 4.5 percent in November, with demand for heating rebounding after an unseasonably warm month.

The report said manufacturing output also climbed by 0.9 percent in December following a 0.8 percent increase in November.

Mining output also showed another notable increase, jumping by 1.6 percent in December after surging up by 2.8 percent in November.

"The December production data underline that while new restrictions are holding back parts of the service sector again, the recovery in manufacturing continues largely unaffected," said Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "With domestic goods demand still elevated, inventory levels still looking very lean and the dollar weakening, the immediate outlook for the sector remains upbeat."

The Fed also said capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 74.5 percent in December from 73.4 in November. Economists had expected capacity utilization to inch up to 73.6 percent.

Capacity utilization in the utilities sector jumped to 74.5 percent, while capacity utilization in the mining and manufacturing sectors edged up to 80.5 percent and 73.4 percent, respectively.

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