U.S. Industrial Production Rose 0.2% in November

By Sarah Chaney and Ben LeubsdorfFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

U.S. industrial production rose in November, boosted by a post-hurricane recovery in oil and gas extraction.

Industrial production--a measure of output at factories, mines and utilities--rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November from the prior month, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the index to rise 0.3%. October industrial production was revised up to a 1.2% gain from an initial estimate of a 0.9% increase.

From a year earlier, industrial production rose 3.4% in November.

Friday's report showed output in the volatile mining sector jumped 2.0% in November, aided by a gain in oil and gas extraction that the Fed said "returned to normal levels after being held down in October by Hurricane Nate." Without this rebound, industrial production would have remained flat last month, the Fed noted.

Manufacturing output, the biggest component of industrial production, rose 0.2% in November, a sharp slowdown from October's 1.4% increase.

Capacity utilization, a measure of slack in the industrial economy, increased 0.1 percentage point to 77.1% in November. Economists had expected capacity utilization of 77.2% in November.

U.S. manufacturing activity has picked up steam this year because of a weaker dollar, more-stable oil prices and global economic growth.

The Institute for Supply Management said its closely watched index of U.S. manufacturing activity remained solidly in a growth mode in November.

Industrial production was knocked off course in recent months, as hurricanes that battered the southern and eastern U.S. in the late summer caused refineries and plants on the Gulf Coast to shut down and stall other keys parts of the manufacturing process. Manufacturing production bounced back in October, the Fed earlier reported, and now energy extraction has returned to normal.

Utility output declined 1.9% in November from the prior month, possibly reflecting lower heating demand as a result of warmer-than-average temperatures.

The Federal Reserve's report on industrial production can be found at: https://www.federalreserve.gov/Releases/g17/current/default.htm.

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com and Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 15, 2017 09:30 ET (14:30 GMT)