November 16, 2017 / 2:18 PM / a year ago

U.S. industrial output boosted in October by hurricane-related rebound

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. industrial output rose more than expected in October as industries affected by a string of recent hurricanes resumed normal operations, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.

Overall industrial production increased 0.9 percent following a slightly upwardly revised 0.4 percent rise in September.

Industrial output data for the third quarter were also revised higher, with production declining at a 0.3 percent annual rate. That compared to the previous estimate of a 1.5 percent drop.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output rising 0.5 percent in October. The central bank’s measure of the industrial sector is comprised of manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities.

The effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Nate, which battered the oil and gas industries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, had previously held back industrial output.

In October, as industries came back online, the effects of the hurricanes contributed 0.60 percentage point to the overall change in industrial production.

The manufacturing sector, which makes up about 12 percent of the nation’s economy, rose 1.3 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in September.

With overall output rising, the percentage of industrial capacity in use increased 0.6 percentage point to 77.0 percent in October from an upwardly revised 76.4 percent in September.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Paul Simao

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