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WASHINGTON — American industry expanded for the fourth consecutive month in January, but it has yet to return to the level of activity that preceded the pandemic.
U.S. industrial production — which includes output of factories, mines and utilities — rose 0.9% last month on top of increases of 1.3% in December, 0.9% in November and 1.1% in October, the Federal Reserve reported Feb. 17. Still, industrial production was down 1.8% from January 2020, reflecting lingering economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
Manufacturing rose 1% even though auto production was held down by a shortage of semiconductors used in vehicles.
Mining jumped 2.3% on a burst of oil and gas drilling.
Utility output dropped 1.2% on declining production of natural gas.
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