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Industrial production increased 0.4 percent in March after having increased 1.1 percent in February, according to the Federal Reserve. For the first quarter as a whole, output moved up at an annual rate of 5 percent, its largest gain since the first quarter of 2012.
Manufacturing output edged down 0.1 percent in March after having risen 0.9 percent in February, and the index advanced at an annual rate of 5.3 percent in the first quarter.
Production at mines decreased 0.2 percent in March and edged down in the first quarter. In March, the output of utilities jumped 5.3 percent, as unusually cold weather drove up heating demand.
At 99.5 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in March was 3.5 percent above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry moved up in March to 78.5 percent, a rate 1.2 percentage points above its level of a year earlier but 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972--2012) average.
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