U.S. industrial production rose 0.4% in March, according to an April 14 Federal Reserve Board report and media analysis of the data.
According to a survey by The Wall Street Journal, the gain exceeded Wall Street expectations of a 0.2% increase. The recent cold temperatures contributed to a sharp increase in utility output, MarketWatch reported. Excluding utilities, production fell 0.4%, according to FRB data.
“The index for utilities jumped 8.4%, as the return to more seasonal weather after a mild February boosted the demand for heating,” the FRB said.
After gaining 0.6% in February, manufacturing fell 0.5% in March. As a whole, manufacturing increased 0.3% in the first quarter. Construction supplies, business equipment and consumer durable goods all declined, the FRB reported.
At 103% of its 2017 average, total industrial production in March was 0.5% above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization moved up to 79.8% in March, a rate that was 0.1 percentage point above its long-run (1972–2022) average.