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WASHINGTON (AFP) – U.S. industrial production picked up in June after flat-lining in May, helped by improved manufacturing output and a jump in mining, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

The production of the nation’s manufacturers, mines and utilities rose 0.3 percent in June, in line with analyst expectations.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent, following a 0.2 percent increase in May.

The factory gains were due to a 0.5 percent rise in the production of durable goods, including increases of more than 1 percent in the production of machinery and motor vehicles and parts, the central bank said.

There was no change in the production of non-durable goods.

Quarterly data highlighted the sector’s struggles in a lackluster economy. Manufacturing output fell at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the second quarter, after expanding at a 5.1 percent pace in the first quarter.

Though manufacturer factory capacity utilization inched up to 76.1 percent in June, the reading was 2.6 percentage points below its long-run average.

Mining was a bright spot, with production at mines jumping 0.8 percent in June, double the rise in May.

The output of utilities slipped 0.1 percent, the third month in a row of decline.

Year-on-year, industrial output was up 2.0 percent in June and 0.6 percent in the second quarter.

“The trend in production remains positive, but is lackluster,” said Chris Low of FTN Financial.

“Still, faster production growth at the end of the quarter is encouraging. A modest improvement in Q3 is likely,” he said.

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Madison Cawthorn

Image via Politico

The Republican party seems to be having trouble trying to be the Christian Taliban and hating on LGBT people when they’ve got Rep. Madison Cawthorn in their ranks. His presence is making it so much harder for them to suppress their inner self-loathing--homosexuality and moral hypocrisy.

We all know politicians secretly love illicit drugs as much as taking bribes or paying off strippers they knocked up, so you have to give Cawthorn some credit for being honest. However, any creditability as a human he might have goes out the window when you consider his hatred and policies toward the LGBT community while, hypocritically enough, he engages in homosexual acts himself.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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