Production expanded 0.4% in March, twice what was expected by economists.
February industrial production growth was revised up to 1.1% from 0.7%.
Capacity utilization rose to 78.5% from 78.4% in February.
Below is a summary of the data, from the release:
Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in March after having increased 1.1 percent in February. For the ﬁrst quarter as a whole, output moved up at an annual rate of 5.0 percent, its largest gain since the ﬁrst quarter of 2012. Manufacturing output edged down 0.1 percent in March after having risen 0.9 percent in February; the index advanced at an annual rate of 5.3 percent in the ﬁrst quarter. Production at mines decreased 0.2 percent in March and edged down in the ﬁrst quarter.
In March, the output of utilities jumped 5.3 percent, as unusually cold weather drove up heating demand. At 99.5 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in March was 3.5 percent above its year-earlier level. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry moved up in March to 78.5 percent, a rate that is 1.2 percentage points above its level of a year earlier but 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2012) average.
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