U.S. Industrial Production Inches Up Less Than Expected In May

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After reporting a sharp increase in U.S. industrial production in the previous month, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing industrial production edged modestly higher in the month of May.

The Fed said industrial production crept up by 0.2 percent in May after surging by an upwardly revised 1.4 percent in April.

Economists had expected production to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 1.1 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

"The muted 0.2% m/m rise in industrial production in May adds to the evidence that the economy is slowing," said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "But there is still little in activity data to suggest a recession is on the horizon, or to dissuade the Fed from pressing ahead with more aggressive policy tightening."

The uptick in industrial production came as mining and utilities output shot up by 1.3 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, offsetting a 0.1 percent dip in manufacturing output.

The report also showed capacity utilization in the industrial sector inched up to 79.0 percent in May from a downwardly revised 78.9 percent in April.

Capacity utilization was expected to increase to 79.2 percent from the 79.0 percent originally reported for the previous month.

While capacity utilization in the mining and utilities sectors rose to 81.5 percent and 76.4 percent, respectively, capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector edged down to 79.1 percent.

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