Industrial Production Rises Strongly Homebuilding Tumbles


WASHINGTON – U.S. industrial production increased solidly in April amid an acceleration in manufacturing and mining output, the latest indication that the economy was gathering momentum early in the second quarter.

The upbeat report from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday came on the heels of data on Tuesday showing a pickup in consumer spending in April. But a sharp drop in homebuilding and permits last month put a wrinkle on the brightening economic picture.

Industrial production expanded 0.7 percent in April, matching March’s increase, the Fed said. Manufacturing output, which accounts for more than 70 percent of industrial production, rose 0.5 percent as a 2.3 percent increase in machinery production offset a drop in production of primary metals and fabricated metal products.

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