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Industrial production rises more than expected

Industrial production probably rose in November for the fifth straight month amid halting signs of economic recovery.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Industrial production rose a better-than-expected 0.8 percent in November, a sign of recovery taking root in some parts of the economy.

The gain shows that businesses and consumers are spending more, clearing inventories and spurring factories to produce more goods.

Economists expected the Federal Reserve report Tuesday to show that overall industrial production grew 0.5 percent last month.

Stronger activity at mines led last month's increase, rising 2.1 percent. The critical manufacturing sector -- the biggest slice of industrial output -- reversed a one-month decline and rose 1.1 percent. Utilities did fall 1.8 percent.

The share of industrial capacity in use rose to 71.3 percent in November, from 70.6 percent in October. It shows that factories, mines and utilities are using more of their plants as the recovery is taking hold.