US industrial production up 3%; factory output up 3.4%

Cover Image
Photo credit FILE - In this May 13, 2020, file photo, Ford Motor Co., line workers put together ventilators that the automaker is assembling at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. American industry rebounded last month as factories began to reopen for the first time since being shut down by the coronavirus in Aprll. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday, June 16, 2020, that industrial production — including output at factories, mines and utilities — rose 1.4% in May after plummeting a record 12.4% in April and 4.6% in March. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — American industry continued to regain ground lost in the coronavirus recession last month but production remains well below where it was before the pandemic struck.

The Federal Reserve reported Friday that industrial production — including output at factories, mines and utilities — climbed 3% in July after surging 5.7% in June. Still, production remains 8.4% below its level in February before the outbreak began to spread rapidly in the United States.

Factory output rose 3.4% last month, pulled higher by a 28.3% gain in production of cars, trucks and auto parts.

Mining production ticked up 0.8%, snapping five straight months of decreases, utility output climbed 3.3% as hot weather forced many Americans to turn on the air conditioner.

Industry was running at 70.6% of capacity, up from its April low of 64.2% but well below its long-term (1972-2019) average 79.8%.