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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.

Amy Coney Barrett

Photo from Fox 45 Baltimore/ Facebook

Donald Trump will select U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick Saturday, multiple news outlets confirmed with White House officials on Friday — and the outlook couldn't be more bleak for reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and the future of health care in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Trump "will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day."

"The president met with Judge Barrett at the White House this week and came away impressed with a jurist that leading conservatives told him would be a female Antonin Scalia," the Times reported.

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