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The Federal Reserve said the combined output of factories, mines and utilities jumped 1 percent from a month earlier, easily beating economists' estimates of a 0.4 percent gain.
It was the third straight monthly increase in industrial production, following gains of 0.4 percent in March and 0.2 percent in February.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the trend is a sign of underlying strength in the economy. “Manufacturing has recovered from a rough patch in late 2015 and early 2016 caused by cutbacks in the energy industry and a strong dollar, which makes U.S. goods costlier in foreign markets,” The Associated Press noted.
At 105.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in April was 2.2 percent above its year-earlier level.
Manufacturing output, the biggest component of industrial production, posted its biggest gain in more than three years, rising 1 percent to a new post-recession high. April manufacturing output was up 1.7 percent from the same month a year earlier.
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