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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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.

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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.

Jessica Cisneros

It’s a race that has some Democratic voters scratching their heads: a young, progressive primary challenger versus a pro-life, conservative Democrat who received an A-rating from the NRA. The primary race between one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Representative Henry Cuellar, and Jessica Cisneros has become a lightning rod within the Democratic Party.

Cuellar declared victory, but as of Wednesday morning, major media outlets have said the race is too close to call. He is just a couple hundred votes ahead of his Cisneros in Texas' 28th Congressional District primary. When neither candidate won a majority in the March 1 primary, the two highest vote-getters faced each other in Tuesday's run-off election.

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