U.S. industrial output grew for a second-straight month in February, as the Federal Reserve on Wednesday said that factory production rose 0.2 percent, following a 0.5 percent gain in January.
The 2-month streak of gains comes after declines in four of the previous five months, hinting that manufacturing is leveling off after a wearisome 2015. It was the first back-to-back monthly gain since March-April 2015.
Total industrial production, however, fell 0.5 percent in February, led by a 4 percent decline in utility production as a result of milder temperatures.
Still, the 0.2 percent rise was better than 0.1 percent gain expected by Bloomberg's survy median, which also forecasted total industrial production to decline by 0.3 percent.
Across the Atlantic, industrial output in the 19-country Eurozone grew by 2.1 percent in January, its fastest growth since 2.3 percent in September 2009. The European Union's statistical agency, Eurostat, forecasted growth of 1.6 percent. The gain followed two straight months of decline, including a 0.5 percent drop in December.
Europe's largest economy, Germany, led the Eurozone January gain at a 2.9 percent jump, while Ireland was also a top performer at +12.7 percent.