US factory output rises for 5th straight month - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

US factory output rises for 5th straight month

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya). In this March 14, 2014 photo, assembly line workers build a 2015 Chrysler 200 automobile at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya). In this March 14, 2014 photo, assembly line workers build a 2015 Chrysler 200 automobile at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.
  • NationalMore>>

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:44 GMT
    The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing...
    The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football,...
  • Opponents, supporters to discuss clean air rules

    Opponents, supporters to discuss clean air rules

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:46:53 GMT
    Hundreds of people will tell the Environmental Protection Agency what they think of proposed rules to cut pollution from power plants during public hearings Tuesday and Wednesday in Denver.
    Hundreds of people will tell the Environmental Protection Agency what they think of proposed rules to cut pollution from power plants during public hearings Tuesday and Wednesday in Denver.
  • California wildfire claims 6 more homes

    California wildfire claims 6 more homes

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:20 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:20:42 GMT
    Most of the 1,200 people driven to evacuate by a Northern California wildfire that destroyed 13 homes have been told they can safely return after a series of steady gains in the firefight.
    Fire officials say crews found six more homes destroyed by a Northern California wildfire that led to evacuation orders for about 1,200 people before it was brought under control.
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. factory output increased for the fifth straight month in June as manufacturers cranked out more aircraft, chemicals and furniture. The modest gain underscored manufacturing's role in helping return the economy to growth after a grim first quarter.

Factory production rose 0.1 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, down from a gain of 0.4 percent in the previous month. May's data was revised slightly lower, but April's reading was revised much higher.

Despite June's small increase, manufacturing output rose in the second quarter at the fastest pace in more than two years, providing a critical boost to the economy after it contracted sharply in the first three months of the year. Factory output climbed 6.7 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, the most in more than two years and up from just 1.4 percent in the first quarter.

Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, edged up 0.2 percent in June, down from a 0.5 percent gain in May.

Mining output, which includes oil and gas drilling, surged 0.8 percent. Utility production fell 0.3 percent, mostly reflecting weather patterns. Industrial production rose at an annual rate of 5.5 percent in the second quarter, the best showing in nearly four years.

"The industrial economy is in reasonable shape but the recovery is steady rather than spectacular," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Most economists are optimistic that factory output will keep rising. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said earlier this week that its regional manufacturing index reached a four-year high in July.

Americans are buying more cars and businesses are spending more on steel and other metals and computers. Auto sales reached an eight-year high in June. Auto production slipped last month, the Fed said, but that followed several months of strong gains.

Petroleum output fell, but mostly because of a temporary disruption at a large refinery, according to the Fed's report.

The government's jobs report earlier this month showed that factories added 16,000 positions in June, the most in four months, and the average work week for manufacturing employees remained at a post-recession high.

A survey earlier this month by the private Institute for Supply Management, meanwhile, found that manufacturing expanded in June for the 13th straight month, though at a slightly slower pace than the previous month. Growth was broad-based across nearly all the 18 sectors that the survey covers. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.

The economy shrank 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter, the worst showing in five years.

But most economists expect growth returned in the April-June quarter. On average, analysts forecast the economy grew at an annual pace of 3 percent in the second quarter, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics. While healthy, that's down from a 3.5 percent forecast a month earlier.

___

Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Suicide bomber kills Afghan president's cousin

    Suicide bomber kills Afghan president's cousin

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:30 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:30:24 GMT
    An Afghan official says a suicide bomber, his explosives hidden inside his turban, has assassinated the cousin of President Hamid Karzai.
    A powerful cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai was assassinated by a suicide bomber hiding explosives in his cap on Tuesday, a provincial official said. It was the latest attack targeting Afghan power brokers...
  • Elegant Louvre Garden infested with rats

    Elegant Louvre Garden infested with rats

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:27:32 GMT
    Rats are on the rampage in the elegant garden of the Louvre Museum, so bold they romp onto the grass in broad daylight, defying death threats from sanitation workers and scaring tourists visiting the site.
    Rats are on the rampage in the elegant garden of the Louvre Museum, so bold they romp onto the grass in broad daylight, defying death threats from sanitation workers and scaring tourists visiting the site.
  • West African airline suspends flights amid Ebola

    West African airline suspends flights amid Ebola

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:27:25 GMT
    The West African airline that transported a passenger sick with Ebola last week says it's now suspending flights to the two cities hardest hit by the disease.
    Police officers deployed to Liberia's international airport to ensure passengers are screened for Ebola symptoms as a major regional airline announced Tuesday it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an...