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US industrial production rose by the most in three months in March, as a bounce back in consumer goods and utilities output helped offset continued softness in construction and manufacturing.

Industrial production — a measure of everything made by factories, mines and utilities —rose 0.5 per cent last month from February, when it rose by 0.1 per cent, according to data from the Federal Reserve. The gain was in line with analyst expectations.

An unusually cold March provided an unexpected boost to demand for home and office heating. Utilities production rallied 8.6 per cent during the period, breaking two months of declines. Consumer goods output also rose for the first time in two months, climbing 1.2 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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