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US industrial output growth slows in June

US industrial production growth slowed in June from May but still the sector showed steady improvement, according to official data released Wednesday.

WASHINGTON: US industrial production growth slowed in June from May but still the sector showed steady improvement, according to official data released Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve said industrial production rose 0.2 per cent in June, after a revised 0.5 per cent gain in May. The prior estimate for May was a 0.6 per cent increase.

Though the June number was weaker than the 0.4 per cent increase expected by analysts, overall industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 5.5 per cent.

Manufacturing production edged up 0.1 per cent, its fifth consecutive monthly gain. For the April-June quarter, manufacturing output climbed at an annual rate of 6.7 per cent.

"Manufacturing output has been volatile in recent months but the net result still appears to be a solid trend -- better than implied by the data for June alone," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.

Mining output rose 0.8 per cent, but for the second quarter it leaped at an annual rate of 18.8 per cent "because of gains in the extraction of oil and gas," the central bank said.

Utilities production fell 0.3 per cent on the month and 21.4 per cent year-over-year on the quarter following a spike in output in the first quarter related to severe winter weather.

Year-over-year, total industrial production in June was up 4.3 per cent.

The capacity utilisation rate for total industry was unchanged in June at 79.1 per cent. That pace is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run average.

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