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April 15, 2021, 10:29 a.m. EDT

U.S. industrial output rebounds in March

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Greg Robb

The numbers: U.S. industrial production rose 1.4% in March, after a revised 2.6% fall in the prior month that was caused by severe winter weather, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

The gain in March was below Wall Street expectations of a 2.7% gain, according to a survey by the Wall Street Journal. Production was held down by a steep decline in output from power utilities, as weather switched from unseasonably cold to unseasonably warm.

What happened: Manufacturing output rose 2.7% in March after a 3.7% decline in the prior month.

The output of motor vehicles and parts rose 2.8% after falling 10% in February.

Mining output, which includes oil and gas exploration, jumped 5.7%, completely reversing a 5.6% drop in the prior month.

Utility output fell 11.4% in March after a 9.2% gain in February.

Capacity utilization rose to 74.4 from 73.4 in February.

Big picture: Manufacturing remains a bright spot as the economy emerges from the pandemic. The gains in March were broad based. Data from regional Fed banks indicated activity continued at a strong pace in April.

What are they saying? “A partial rebound from the storm hit; more coming,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Market reaction: Stocks /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.66% /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.74% opened sharply higher on Thursday on the back of strong economic data.

US : Dow Jones Global
+229.23 +0.66%
Volume: 311.63M
May 7, 2021 5:15p
+30.98 +0.74%
Volume: 2.05B
May 7, 2021 5:15p

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