US industrial production rose 0.2 percent in November

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 7, 2017, file photo, a worker lowers a concrete block at the site of a new coal mine in Friedens, Pa. On Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, the Federal Reserve said mining activity climbed 2 percent in November, while manufacturing activity rose 0.2 percent. (AP Photo/Dake Kang, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. industrial production rose 0.2 percent in November due to a rebound in extracting oil and natural gas after a stoppage due to Hurricane Nate.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that mining activity climbed 2 percent last month, while manufacturing activity rose 0.2 percent. Production of machinery and primary metals contributed to gains in the factory sector, while the overall growth for industrial output largely came from restarting oil and natural gas drilling.

Production at utilities fell 1.9 percent.

During the past 12 months, total industrial production has increased 3.4 percent. The growth reflects in part energy prices that have climbed to levels that are encouraging more production. Manufacturers are also showing signs of strength after having overcome a slowdown from two years ago when falling energy prices hurt orders and a strengthening dollar made U.S. exports less competitive.

Factories are using now more of their capacity and hiring more workers. The Fed's measure of capacity utilization at factories has risen to 76.4 percent from 75.1 percent a year ago. Manufacturers have also added 189,000 jobs over the past year, according the employment report released last week.

Still, the speed of the manufacturing expansion may be slowing somewhat.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of factory activity declined to 58.2 last month from 58.7 in October. This suggests that manufacturing activity will continue to increase, just not as briskly as before. Any reading above 50 is evidence of growth.

Separately, The Commerce Department noted that orders for durable goods tumbled 1.2 percent in October after gains in the prior two months.

Must Read

Malian extremist pleads guilty to Timbuktu rampage

Aug 22, 2016

An Islamic extremist has pleaded guilty to destroying historic mausoleums in the Malian desert city...

Ukraine takes Russia to UN court over rebel...

Mar 6, 2017

Ukraine's deputy foreign minister on Monday accused Russia of financing terrorism by shipping arms,...

Anti-Islam populist Wilders protests outside...

Mar 8, 2017

Anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders says Turkey's foreign minister is not welcome in the Netherlands...

Dutch minister calls for funds for Syria war...

Mar 9, 2017

The Dutch foreign minister paid tribute Thursday to activists who risk their lives in Syria to...

Turkey-Dutch relations shatter after Turkish...

Mar 12, 2017

The escalating dispute between NATO allies Turkey and the Netherlands hit a new low Sunday, with a...