WASHINGTON – Auto plants, clothing makers and plastics factories drove a sharp rebound in manufacturing in July.
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U.S. factory production climbed 0.8 percent last month after dipping 0.3 percent in June. The gains suggest that manufacturers are adjusting to the obstacles of a stronger dollar, tepid economic growth abroad and lower oil prices, which have led energy firms to slash their orders for equipment and pipelines.
Motor vehicle output surged 10.6 percent in July. Auto dealer sales jumped 5 percent to 1.5 million, with luxury brands accounting for the biggest gains.
The Federal Reserve says that overall industrial production — which includes mining output and utilities, as well as manufacturing — rose 0.6 percent. Mining, which includes oil and gas wells, rose 0.2 percent, while utility output fell 1 percent.