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Industrial Production Rises 0.3% in December

Industrial production rose 0.3 percent in December, its fifth consecutive monthly increase, according to the latest release from the Federal Reserve. For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 6.8 percent, the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2010.

At 101.8 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in December was 3.7 percent above its year-earlier level and 0.9 percent above its pre-recession peak in December 2007. Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.1 percentage point to 79.2 percent, a rate 1 percentage point below its long-run (1972-2012) average.

Following increases of 0.6 percent in each of the previous two months, factory output rose 0.4 percent in December and was 2.6 percent above its year-earlier level. The production of mines moved up 0.8 percent; the index has advanced 6.6 percent over the past 12 months. The output of utilities fell 1.4 percent after three consecutive monthly gains.

Manufacturing output moved up 0.4 percent in December, its fifth consecutive monthly increase, and rose at an annual rate of 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter. In December, the index remained 3.1 percent below its peak in December 2007. The factory operating rate in December was 77.2 percent, a rate 1.5 percentage points below its long-run average.

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