US Industrial Production Rose in June
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. industrial production rose in June as factories made more cars, machines and business equipment, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. Factory output recovered to levels reached earlier this spring but appears to be leveling off.
Analysts say the U.S. manufacturing sector is struggling to mount a sustained recovery after three months of slow growth.
Factory output rose 0.7 percent last month, after falling by the same amount in May, the Fed said. Factories produced more machines and vehicles used by businesses. Production of consumer goods edged higher. Auto production rebounded after its first decline of the year.
Overall industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, rose 0.4 percent in June. Mining activity increased 0.7 percent, while utility output fell 1.9 percent.
June’s strong results follow a period of shaky growth for the factory sector, which is a crucial contributor to economic expansion. Factory output fell in two of the past four months.
"The trend has downshifted," said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. "I wouldn’t extrapolate the rebound in June as a sign that momentum is picking up again." Factory growth slowed in the second quarter to an annual rate of 1.4 percent, after leaping 9.8 percent in the first quarter, O’Sullivan noted.