U.S. Industrial Production Hikes in August

A cheerful sign for the stateside economy after a host of weak reading earlier this year: U.S. industrial production rose last month.

Figures provided Tuesday by the Federal Reserve indicated industrial production, a measure of factory, mining and utility output, rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% in August from the prior month.

Economists had expected a 0.2% increase last month. July industrial production was revised to a decline of 0.1% from an earlier reading of a 0.2% drop.

From a year earlier, industrial production rose 0.4% in August.

Output at U.S. factories rose 0.5% last month from July. The American manufacturing industry’s output accounts for about 75% of the nation’s total industrial output. The Fed also said factory output has increased 0.2% per month over the past four months, after declining 0.5% per month during the first four months of the year.

Capacity utilization, which reflects how much industries are producing compared with what they could potentially produce, rose by 0.4 percentage points to 77.9% in August. Economists had expected 77.6%.