US industrial production, an indicator of mines, factories and utilities output, posted its fifth consecutive monthly increase in December, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.
For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 6.8 percent, the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2010, with gains widespread across industries, the Fed said.
Factory output, the largest component of the overall industrial production, rose 0.4 percent and was 2.6 percent above its year- earlier level, the Fed said. The production of mines moved up 0.8 percent, while the output of utilities fell 1.4 percent.
The capacity utilization for total industry, a main gauge of industrial efficiency, moved up 0.1 percentage points to 79.2 percent, 1.0 percentage point lower than its long-run average during 1972-2012, the Fed said.