Industrial production for February rose one percent, after decreasing 0.3 percent in January, according to a report released Friday from the Federal Reserve. Overall industrial production was 3.4 percent higher than year-ago levels.Manufacturing output saw an increase of 0.4 percent for the month, helped by rises in motor vehicles and high-technology goods. Increased light truck production boosted output of automotive products by 3.2 percent. With a 2.0 percent rise, computer and electronic products and motor vehicle parts offset declines in wood products, nonmetallic mineral products and machinery. Output of defense and space equipment increased 0.2 percent. Colder temperatures pushed the output of utilities up 6.7 percent, with increased production at electric and natural gas utilities. A higher output of energy materials also helped the production of materials to increase 1.0 percent. Mining was up 0.1 percent, as declines in oil and gas extraction were negated by increases in nonmetallic mineral mining, metal ore mining and support activities for the industry. Capacity utilization overall was at 82 percent for February, a 2.3 percent increase from last year. For industries in the crude stage of processing, capacity utilization was down 0.2 to 88.3 percent for February. Capacity utilization for the primary and semi-finished stages increased 1.0 to 83.4 percent and the finished stage increased 0.4 to 78.3 percent.
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