WASHINGTON, D.C. and LONDON, ENGLAND—Factories, mines and utilities in the US increased production by 0.8 per cent last month, according to the Federal Reserve.
Overall industrial activity has risen 11 per cent since hitting its recession low in June 2009, although it’s still six per cent below its September 2007 peak.
The biggest chunk of output came from factories, where production rose by 0.4 per cent—the sixth increase in half a year.
Even though auto production dipped, manufacturers of computers and electronic products, clothing and leather, chemicals and other products all saw gains.
Manufacturing added 10,000 jobs in December, the first increase since July. Factory workers’ hours stayed the same.
Britain is also reporting increases in factory production.
Output there rose 5.6 per cent in November, compared with a year earlier. Machinery and equipment industries set the pace with a 20 per cent gain.
All production industries in the UK were up 3.5 per cent during the September and November period, although the broader index took a hit from an 8.8 per cent drop in oil and gas extraction alongside lower electricity production.