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Economic Report: Industrial output up 0.4%, boosted by utilities

Industrial output rose 0.4% in March, boosted by strong gain in utility output, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Read More...

The numbers: U.S. industrial production rose 0.4% in March, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

The gain was above Wall Street expectations of a 0.2% gain, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Key details: The increase in output was boosted by a sharp rise in utility output due to the cold temperatures.

Manufacturing fell 0.5% in March after a 0.6% gain in the prior month. For the first quarter as a whole, manufacturing was up 0.3%.

Output of motor vehicles was down 1.5% in March after increasing for the past two months. Excluding autos, total industrial output was up 0.5% in March.

Mining output fell 0.5% in March, and there were declines in oil and gas extraction.

Big picture: Industrial production looks a little stronger in the wake of this report, which incorporates annual revisions.

Industrial production was up at a 0.2% rate in the first quarter after a sharp 2.5% decline in the final three months of 2002.

Market reaction: Stocks DJIA, +0.01% opened lower on Friday while the rate on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 3.493% rose to 3.5%.

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