Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July, the first advance in five months as utility usage during the month's heat wave offset a drop in manufacturing activity.
The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that output in June, initially believed to have risen 0.1 percent, actually fell 0.1 percent after being unchanged in May. It had declined 0.6 percent in April and 0.1 percent in March.The Fed said factory production dropped 0.2 percent in July, the sixth month without a gain, although it was flat in March. Utility output, however, jumped 3.6 percent due to abnormally hot temperatures.
The manufacturing sector, which fueled much of the economic recovery in recent years, slowed dramatically earlier this year.