Industrial output sees biggest gain since July (Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Industrial output rose 0.4 percent in November, its biggest gain since July and the latest sign of a firmer end to the year for the world’s largest economy, a report showed on Wednesday.

The increase was above a median forecast of 0.3 percent in a Reuters poll, and followed a downward revision of October’s reading from flat to a drop of 0.2 percent.

Output rose 5.4 percent compared to one year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve data. A spike in utilities partly offset a sharp 6.0 percent decline in the production of motor vehicles and parts.

Capacity use, a measure of how fully firms are using their resources, rose to 75.2 in November from a revised 74.9 in October, but remained substantially below its long term average.

Officials at the U.S. central bank tend to look at utilization measures as a signal of how much “slack” remains in the economy — how much room growth has to run before it becomes inflationary.

(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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