U.S. industrial output up 0.1 pct in June

WASHINGTON, July 15 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. industrial production
eked out a small gain in June, beating expectations for a slim
decline, as hot weather drove up demand on utilities, a Federal
Reserve report showed on Thursday.

Industrial output rose 0.1 percent, stronger than the 0.1
percent decline that economists polled by Reuters had forecast
but still down sharply from May’s 1.3 percent advance, another
unusually hot month that boosted air conditioning usage.

For the second quarter as a whole, industrial production
increased at an annual rate of 6.6 percent, down from the 7.0
percent pace recorded in the first quarter, the Fed said.

Investors have been monitoring the economy for signs that
the recovery lost steam heading into the second half of the
year. The Fed trimmed its 2010 growth forecast at its last
policy-setting meeting in June, and many private economists
have cut estimates for both the second quarter and the full

Manufacturing fell 0.4 percent, breaking a three-month
streak of gains, adding to evidence that the second quarter may
have ended on a soft note.

Utilities output rose 2.7 percent after a 5.6 percent jump
in May.

Capacity usage, a measure of slack in the economy, held
steady at 74.1 percent, up sharply from a year earlier but
still 6.5 percentage points below its average from 1972 to

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(Reporting by Emily Kaiser, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

U.S. industrial output up 0.1 pct in June