Industrial production rose 0.3% in December, the second straight increase, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
The gain in output at factories, mines and utilities followed a revised 1% increase in November that had been originally reported as a 1.1% upturn.
The November increase matched economists’ median forecast, Bloomberg News reported.
Manufacturing, which makes up about three-quarters of the total, rose 0.8%, more than the 0.5% forecast, Bloomberg said.
The overall figure was held down by the biggest plunge in utility output in six years, reflecting warmer weather in December.
Output of business equipment rose 1.3%, while construction supplies increased 1%.
Capacity utilization, which measures plant output, edged up to 78.8%, from 78.7% in November.
Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the U.S. economy. The factory sector is one of trucking’s largest and most important customers.