WASHINGTON - U.S. factories increased output in November for the fourth straight month, led by a surge in auto production. The gains show manufacturing is strengthening and could help boost economic growth.
The Federal Reserve says factory production rose 0.6 per cent in November after a 0.5 per cent gain in October. Production of motor vehicles and parts rose 3.4 per cent, rebounding from a 1.3 per cent decline in October.
Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, increased 1.1 per cent in November. That's also the fourth straight gain. Colder-than-average temperatures drove greater utility production.
Overall production for the first time surpassed the pre-recession peak set in December 2007, the month the Great Recession began. Output is now 21 per cent above its recession low hit in June 2009, the month the downturn ended.