Industrial Production Rises More Than Forecast

Industrial production rose 1.1% in April, led by automobile manufacturing and utility output, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

The gain in activity at factories, mines and utilities topped economists’ projections of a 0.6% increase, Bloomberg reported.

Production had declined 0.6% in March, revised from an unchanged reading.

Factory production, which makes up three-quarters of the total, rose 0.6%, while utility output jumped 4.5%, the most in two years.

Production of automobiles and parts rose 3.9%, following a 1.2% increase. Factory production excluding autos rose 0.3%.

Capacity utilization, which measures plant output, rose to 79.2%, the highest in four years, from 78.4% in March.

Manufacturing accounts for about an eighth of the U.S. economy and the factory sector is one of trucking’s largest and most important customers.

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