US industrial production rebounded in January from a three-month slowdown as cold winter weather pushed up utility demand, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.
Total industrial output rose 0.9 percent in January, after falling 0.7 percent in December as unseasonably warm weather in large parts of the country had suppressed production by power stations and other utilities.
Utilities output jumped 5.4 percent in January on soaring demand for heating and electricity amid a historic blizzard that blanketed the Northeast.
Manufacturing output rebounded with a 0.5 percent gain last month after two consecutive months of declines.
The manufacturing sector, which accounts for about 75 percent of US industrial production, has been under pressure from a strong dollar that makes exports more expensive, the global slowdown and moderate growth in the US economy.
Mining production was unchanged in January. It had declined on average 1.5 percent per month in the previous four months in the face of falling oil and natural gas prices.
With the US economy slowing since a growth spurt in the second quarter of 2015, industrial output was down 0.7 percent from its year-ago level in January.
The central bank forecast that industrial capacity in 2016 will rise just 0.5 percent after increasing 1.5 percent in 2015.