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US industrial output picks up in September

[WASHINGTON] US industrial output rose in September as the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma began to fade and construction and utilities production bounced back, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday.

Overall industrial production increased 0.3 per cent in September after an upwardly revised 0.7 per cent decline in August.

However, output in July was revised to a decline of 0.1 per cent from the previously reported 0.4 per cent gain.

Industrial production data for August had been heavily impacted by the hurricanes which temporarily shut down oil, gas and chemical plants along the US Gulf Coast.

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The Fed said that the impact of Harvey and, to a lesser extent, Irma, held back production growth in September by 0.25 percentage point.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output rising 0.3 per cent in September.

The Fed's measure of the industrial sector is made up of manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities.

The manufacturing sector, which comprises about 12 per cent of the US economy, edged up 0.1 per cent after an upwardly revised 0.2 per cent decline in August.

With overall output rising, the percentage of industrial capacity in use increased 0.2 percentage points to 76.0 per cent in September from a downwardly revised 75.8 per cent in August.

REUTERS