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US industrial output unchanged, utilities weigh

[WASHINGTON] US industrial production was unchanged in October, weighed down by a decline in utilities output, data from the Federal Reserve showed on Wednesday.

Output for September was revised to show a 0.2 per cent decline in output rather than a 0.1 per cent increase.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial production rising 0.2 per cent in October.

Manufacturing output rose 0.2 per cent in October after rising by a similar margin in September, less than the 0.3 per cent rise expected by economists.

Utilities production slid 2.6 per cent as warmer-than-normal temperatures reduced demand for heating. It had fallen 3.0 per cent in September.

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Mining production, which has been hurt by low oil prices, was up 2.1 per cent, posting its largest gain since March 2014.

Industrial capacity utilization edged down to 75.3 per cent. Officials at the Fed tend to look at capacity use as a signal of how much "slack" there is in the economy and how much room there is for growth to accelerate before it becomes inflationary.


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