March 17, 2005
U.S. industrial production increased 0.3 percent in February after an upwardly revised gain of 0.1 percent in January, the Federal Reserve reported March 16. The February increase was less than the forecast 0.4 percent, but it was 3.5 percent above the February 2004 level. The increase in capacity utilization to 79.4 percent was greater than analysts' estimates of 79.2 percent.
Manufacturing production rose 0.5 percent in February, and the factory operating rate advanced to 78.5 percent, the highest rate since November 2000. However, factory capacity utilization was still 1.3 percentage points below its 1972–2004 average.
Durable goods production increased 1.0 percent, largely because of a jump of more than 5 percent in the output of motor vehicles and parts and a rise in the production of computer and electronic products.