WASHINGTON – U.S. industrial output (search) leaped 0.7 percent in October as the American economy shook off the effects of a series of hurricanes that hit in the late summer, the Federal Reserve (search) said on Wednesday.
Output growth at U.S. factories, mines and utilities in October was more than double analysts' expectations of a 0.3 percent rise for the month. It followed a more modest 0.1 percent expansion in September.
Production grew at the same rate across the manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors, with each group recording a 0.7 percent expansion in October.
The rebound in mining was most dramatic, as the sector's output contracted 2.4 percent in September. Manufacturing, which accounts for more than four-fifths of overall industrial output, also staged a recovery from its 0.3 percent drop the month before.
Utilities output, though, slowed from its 5.3 percent growth in September.
"Part of the increase in production appears to reflect a partial bounceback from the restraining effects of the recent hurricanes, although the exact magnitude of the contribution is difficult to estimate," the Fed said in the report.
U.S. industries operated at 77.7 percent of capacity in October, up from 77.3 percent in September, the Fed said.