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US industrial production rises 0.3% in September, depressed by hurricane effects

U.S. industrial production increased 0.3% in September as continued effects of Hurricane Harvey and the effects of Hurricane Irma combined to suppress growth in total production by 0.25 percentage point, the Federal Reserve said.

Industrial production was up 1.6% from a year ago. The central bank also revised down its estimate for industrial production in August to a decrease of 0.7% and the estimate for July to a decrease of 0.1%.

Manufacturing output edged up 0.1% in September as a 1% gain for durables offset a 0.9% decrease for nondurables. Manufacturing output was up 1.0% from September 2016.

Mining output rose 0.4% in September, reflecting a gain in oil and gas extraction as all of the other major components recorded losses. Mining output increased 9.8% from a year earlier. The index for utilities rose 1.5% in September from the previous month, but was down 4.1% from September 2016.

For the third quarter, industrial production fell 1.5% at an annual rate. Excluding the effects of the hurricanes, the index would have risen at least 0.50%, the bank said.

Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.2 percentage point to 76.0% in September, 3.9 percentage points below its long-run average of 79.9%, but up from 75.6% a year earlier.