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Industrial Output Flat for Second Straight Month

Manufacturing Factory Gillette

 (REUTERS)

U.S. industrial production was unchanged in May, the Federal Reserve said on Friday, compared with forecasts for a light increase after gains in manufacturing and mining were offset by a sharp drop in the output of utilities.

Analysts had expected a 0.2% rise in May industrial output following a revised 0.4% decline the previous month. Factory output rose 0.1%, matching expectations, while mining advanced 0.7%. But utilities output slumped by 1.8%.

Industrial capacity utilization, a measure of how fully firms are deploying their resources, edged down to 77.6% from 77.7% in April, a rate that lies 2.6 percentage points below its estimated long-run average. Analysts had forecast capacity utilization to come in at 77.9%.