U.S. industrial production barely rose in September as a rebound in manufacturing output was offset by a decline in utilities production, suggesting a moderate acceleration in economic growth in the third quarter.
The Federal Reserve said on Monday industrial output edged up 0.1 percent last month after a downwardly revised 0.5 percent decline in August.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial production gaining 0.1 percent last month after a previously reported 0.4 percent fall in August. Industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter, the first quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2015.
The industrial sector continues to be hobbled by the lingering effects of the dollar’s surge and oil price plunge between June 2014 and December 2015. The sector has also been hurt by business efforts to reduce an inventory overhang, which has resulted in fewer orders being placed with factories.
But with the dollar’s rally fading and oil prices stabilizing, the worst of the industrial downturn is probably over. A survey early this month showed an acceleration in factory activity in September, while new orders for manufactured capital goods have increased since June.
Manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent in September after falling 0.5 percent in the prior month. Motor vehicle and parts production edged up 0.1 percent. Manufacturing production rose at a 0.9 percent rate in the third quarter.