WASHINGTON — Industrial production rose 1.0% in July and industrial capacity utilization increased to 74.8% as greater auto production kept factories humming, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected industrial production to increase by 0.5% and capacity utilization to rise to 74.5%, according to the median estimate.
June's industrial production figure was revised downward to a decline of 0.1% from the 0.1% increase initially reported last month. Capacity utilization in June was 74.1%.
"The good news is that some North American producers appear to be gaining market share in certain categories of vehicle products, leading to the decision to shorten summer shutdowns and bring laid-off workers back," Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight, said in a research note.
"Beyond the motor vehicle story, however, the July report on industrial production was surprisingly solid across a number of key industries, including machinery, computers, aerospace products and fabricated metals. Even construction supplies squeaked out a gain of 0.5%."