Industrial production rose, a better than expected, 0.4% in June, ending a weak quarter on a positive note. Overall industrial production rose at an annualized rate of 2.2% in the second quarter, down from 5.8% in the first quarter. Manufacturing and mining output increased 0.7% offsetting the 1.9% decline in utilities production.
There were downward revisions to industrial production in May, from -0.1% to -0.2%, and in April, from 1% to 0.8%.
The manufacturing production increase in June was driven by a 1.9% increase in motor vehicle production. Overall manufacturing production slowed to an annualized rate of 1.4% in the second quarter. Weakness in foreign markets and mild domestic demand may lead to a poor start for the factory sector in the third quarter.
The capacity utilization rate increased from 78.7% to 78.9% in June, remaining well above recent readings.
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