March industrial production stronger than expected on utilities’ jump

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Industrial production grew 0.5% in March, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

The increase followed a revised 1.0% increase in February, first reported as a 0.9% gain.

Capacity utilization rose to 78.0% in March from February’s unrevised 77.7.

Economists polled by IFR Markets projected a 0.3% increase for industrial production and a 77.9% capacity utilization rate.

Manufacturing output was up 0.1% in March, following a 1.5% rise in February.

Utilities’ output gained 3.0% after decreasing 5.0% in February, while mining was 1.0% higher after a 2.9% increase the month before.

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