WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. industrial production rose in March as auto plants cranked out more cars and cold weather kept utilities busy generating heat.
The Federal Reserve says output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent in March from February. Production of autos and auto parts surged for the second straight month. Utility output rose 5.3 percent.
Overall factory production slipped 0.1 percent, dragged down by falling metal production.
Car sales have risen steadily this year after reaching a five-year high in 2012.
Still, recent reports from the nation's factories have been disappointing. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Monday that manufacturing growth in the New York slowed this month. And a private survey showed manufacturing nationwide expanded more slowly in March than it did in February.