US factory output jumps 0.5 per cent for biggest gain in year

WASHINGTON – U.S. factories cranked out more autos, machinery and chemicals in July, lifting production by the most in a year.

The Federal Reserve says factory output grew 0.5 per cent in July, after a 0.3 per cent gain in June.

Overall industrial production, which includes utilities and mining, expanded 0.7 per cent. That is the biggest increase since November 2014.

Utilities output jumped 2.1 per cent as hotter-than-usual weather boosted air conditioning use. Mining activity rose 0.7 per cent, its third straight gain.

The figures suggest that U.S. manufacturing may be turning a corner after struggling to overcome the impact of a stronger dollar, slower overseas growth and falling oil prices. Still, factory output is just 0.2 per cent higher than it was a year ago.