U.S. industrial production increased more than expected in December as unseasonably cold weather toward the end of the month boosted demand for heating, but manufacturing output slowed further.
The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday industrial output surged 0.9 percent last month also buoyed by robust gains in mining production after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent decline in November.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial production advancing 0.4 percent last month after a previously reported 0.2 percent increase in November. Industrial production rose at an annual rate of 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the biggest gain since the second quarter of 2010.
For all of 2017, industrial output rose 1.8 percent, the first and largest increase since 2014.
The industrial sector is being supported by a strengthening global economy and a weakening dollar, which is helping to make U.S. exports more competitive relative to those of the nation’s main trading partners. A survey early this month showed an acceleration in factory activity in December, with a measure of new orders recording its best reading since January 2004.
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