December 15, 2017 / 2:21 PM / 8 months ago

U.S. industrial output increases 0.2 percent in November

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. industrial production rose less than expected in November as a drop in utilities output offset a post-hurricane rebound in the oil and gas industries and the third consecutive monthly advance for manufacturing, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Workers on the assembly line replace the back covers of 32-inch television sets at Element Electronics in Winnsboro, South Carolina, U.S. on May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Keane/File Photo

Overall industrial output rose 0.2 percent following an upwardly revised 1.2 percent gain in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output rising 0.3 percent last month. The U.S. central bank’s measure of the industrial sector is comprised of manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities.

Output in the mining sector registered a 2 percent gain as oil and gas extraction “returned to normal levels” after the impact of Hurricane Nate in October, the Fed said.

The manufacturing sector, which makes up about 12 percent of the nation’s economy, rose 0.2 percent last month following an upwardly revised 1.4 percent gain in October.

Output in the utilities sector, however, fell 1.9 percent on weak output among electricity providers.

The percentage of industrial capacity in use rose slightly to 77.1 percent in November from an unrevised 77.0 percent in October. The November figure was 2.8 percentage points below the long-run average from 1972 to 2016.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Paul Simao

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