Washington (AFP) – Utility gains backed a rise in U.S. industrial production in September, while manufacturing was barely higher, Federal Reserve data showed Monday.
The Fed said industrial production rose 0.6 percent in the month, faster than August’s 0.4 percent gain. Growth year-on-year was a modest 2.3 percent.
But most of the increase came from the utility sector, where production expanded 4.4 percent in part to meet an early cold snap in the West, after contracting 0.9 percent the month before. Utility output was up 2.5 percent from September 2012.
The manufacturing sector expanded by just 0.1 percent, and was up 2.6 percent from a year earlier. The automotive sector continued to be the main source of growth in manufacturing, rising 2.0 percent in September, and 11.3 percent year-on -year.
Industry capacity utilization rose slightly to 78.3 percent, due to the pickup in utility activity, while it remained flat in manufacturing, at 76.1 percent.