U.S. Industrial Production Climbs Less Than Expected In April

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Industrial production in the U.S. increased by less than expected in the month of April, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve on Friday.

The report said industrial production climbed by 0.7 percent in April after soaring by an upwardly revised 2.4 percent in March.

Economists had expected industrial production to surge up by 1.0 percent compared to the 1.4 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

The increase in industrial production was partly due to a rebound in utilities output, which spiked by 2.6 percent in April after plunging by 9.0 percent in March.

Manufacturing output also rose by 0.4 percent despite a drop in motor vehicle assemblies that principally resulted from shortages of semiconductors.

"An important contributor to the gain in factory output was the return to operation of plants that were damaged by February's severe weather in the south central region of the country and had remained offline in March," the Fed said.

The report also showed capacity utilization in the industrial sector rose to 74.9 percent in April from 74.4 percent in March. Economists had expected capacity utilization to climb to 75.0 percent.

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