December 15, 2009 / 2:17 PM / 10 years ago

U.S. industrial production rises 0.8 pct in Nov

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. industrial output rose firmly in November as the manufacturing sector extended a recovery that economists hope will help turn around the ailing labor market.

Production climbed 0.8 percent, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday, well above forecasts for a 0.5 percent gain. The strides were powered in part by the automotive sector, and came despite a sharp drop in utility output.

Capacity utilization, the amount of the nation’s industrial capacity being put to use, rose to 71.3 percent in November from a revised 70.6 in October, its highest level since last December but still well below the long-range average.

The October production figure was revised to no change from an 0.1 percent gain.

The data were the latest to confirm the U.S. economy is rebounding from its worst recession since the 1930s, helped by very low interest rates and a heavy dose of government stimulus. (Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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