U.S. factory output rose 0.5 percent in October, led by increased output of autos, appliances and business equipment.
A weather-related dip in utility output caused total industrial production from factories, mines and utilities to be flat last month. Production by utilities in October fell 3.4 percent, as warm weather eased demand for electricity and gas heat. Production from mining dropped 0.1 percent.
The Federal Reserve says that the flat number for overall industrial production followed a drop of 0.2 percent in September, the first decline since the recession ended.
Increased manufacturing activity has boosted rail and truck shipments until recently. The Association of American Railroads says carload shipments, which include materials used in manufacturing, have been at highs for the year but in late October and early November saw a slowdown in their loadings of some cargoes important to the factory sector.
The Fed said manufacturing production rose 0.1 percent in September. Earlier estimates said manufacturing edged down that month.
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