US industrial production rose in July, with a strong gain in automobile manufacturing offsetting lower output from utilities, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.
Industrial output increased 0.6 percent in July, far above the revised 0.1 percent gain in June.
Output of motor vehicles and parts jumped 10.6 percent. Gains elsewhere in manufacturing rose 0.1 percent.
The strength in autos compensated for a 1.0 percent drop in the index for utilities.
Manufacturing, accounting for about three quarters of total industrial output, has been under pressure from tepid consumer spending and a stronger dollar weighing on exports.
Analysts welcomed the report, which showed output rising more than the consensus estimate for a 0.3 percent gain.
The data are "likely to be welcomed by the Fed as further evidence of a manufacturing recovery from the blow dealt by last year's sharp rise in the dollar," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.
"Consumers are still spending money, carrying manufacturing through a difficult environment marked by sluggish exports and cautious business investment," Low added.
"The trend in auto output is up, but July auto data in particular can be exaggerated," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.
"In general, the trend in manufacturing remains weaker than the trend in non-manufacturing, although weakness in manufacturing appears to be past its peak."