Industrial production in the U.S. increased 0.5 percent in March after increasing 0.1 percent in February, according to the Federal Reserve.
The increase in March was more than accounted for by a jump of 8.6 percent in the output of utilities – the largest in the history of the index – as the demand for heating returned to seasonal norms after being suppressed by unusually warm weather in February.
In March, manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent and mining output increased 0.1 percent.
For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent. At 104.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in March was 1.5 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial