updated 12/14/2007 9:44:43 AM ET 2007-12-14T14:44:43

Output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities posted a modest rebound in November following a big drop in the previous month.

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The Federal Reserve reported Friday that industrial production rose 0.3 percent last month after having fallen a sharp 0.7 percent in October.

The gain was slightly larger than had been expected.

The November improvement reflected an increase in output at auto plants which helped lift manufacturing production by 0.4 percent.

Output in the mining sector, which includes oil production, was up 1.1 percent while utility output fell by 1.3 percent.

The nation's industrial sector operated at 81.5 percent of capacity in November, up slightly from an operating rate of 81.4 percent in October.

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