updated 4/15/2010 9:46:23 AM ET 2010-04-15T13:46:23

Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in March, lagging expectations despite growth in the key manufacturing sector. The results underscore the uneven but spreading economic recovery.

The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that manufacturing, the index's largest component, rose 0.9 percent in March, led by gains in durable goods industries. But utilities dropped 6.4 percent after February's snow boosted output.

The modest overall gain matches February's result, reflecting a slow but steady upswing in the activity at factories, utilities and mines. But analysts expected a rise of 0.7 percent.

The index's consistent gains, however, suggest the economic recovery is durable.

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