Factory output rose for a third straight month in September, a sign the U.S. economy is still rising slowly.
Manufacturers made more airplanes, trucks and home electronics to meet increasing demand. Output at U.S. factories increased 0.4% in September after gaining 0.3% in August, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Production of business equipment rose 1%, third straight increase of 1% or more. Transit tools and information processing equipment drove the gain.
Auto output increased for a third month, home electronics production for a fifth. Overall industrial production, which includes mines and utilities, edged up 0.2%. It was unchanged in August. Utility output fell sharply as weather moderated, while mines continued to produce more. Industrial production has increased 12.8% since June 2009. It remains 5.8% below its recent peak, in September 2007.
The rise in factory output, the largest component of industrial production, is the latest signal that the economy is recovering from its summer slump. The government has also said hiring increased slightly in September and retail sales grew by the most in seven months.