Factory output increased in October for the first time in three months as producers turned out more construction materials and motor vehicles.
The 0.4 percent advance at manufacturers exceeded the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 0.1 percent drop in September, figures from the Federal Reserve showed Tuesday. Total industrial production unexpectedly dropped 0.2 percent for a second month as warm weather reduced electricity demand and the oil industry continued to cut back.
U.S. dollar appreciation and soft global growth mean manufacturers have largely depended on domestic consumers to help draw down bloated inventories. Demand for autos and other big-ticket items have been bright spots for factories, and additional evidence of wage growth may help households feel confident enough to boost spending even further.