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US factory production rises solid 0.6 percent November, led by surge in auto output

U.S. factories increased output in November for the fourth straight month, led by a surge in auto production. The gains show manufacturing is strengthening and could help boost economic growth.

The Federal Reserve says factory production rose 0.6 percent in November after a 0.5 percent gain in October. Production of motor vehicles and parts rose 3.4 percent, rebounding from a 1.3 percent decline in October.

Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, increased 1.1 percent in November. That's also the fourth straight gain. Colder-than-average temperatures drove greater utility production.

Overall production for the first time surpassed the pre-recession peak set in December 2007, the month the Great Recession began. Output is now 21 percent above its recession low hit in June 2009, the month the downturn ended.