WASHINGTON: Industrial output jumped in December, retracing the decline in November, which was bigger than originally reported, with consumer goods and utilities leading the way, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.
The Industrial Production index rose 0.8 percent compared to November, when the index was revised down to show a 0.7 percent drop. The December gain was the largest since November 2014, and above analysts expectations for a 0.6 percent increase.
Output was up 0.5 percent compared to December 2015.
The monthly increase was driven by a jump in consumer durables, mostly autos, which outweighed the drop in home electronics, to fuel a 1.1 percent gain, after a 1.0 percent drop in November.
And a return to more normal winter temperatures after an unseasonably warm November pushed the 6.6 percent surge in utilities output last month, the largest increase since December 1989.
Manufacturing rose 0.2 percent compared to November, but mining output was unchanged as increased oil and gas extraction was not enough to offset the declines in other mining.
Oil and gas drilling surged 9.3 percent in the month, but was still 10.5 percent below the year-ago level.
Mining was down 2.8 percent from December 2015, while manufacturing was up 0.2 percent and utilities increased 6.2 percent.
Industrial capacity utilized in the month rose to 75.5 percent from 74.9 percent in November, and was up 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier..