U.S. industrial output up 0.3% in September as auto strike has limited impact

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The numbers: U.S. industrial production rose 0.3% in September, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

The gain was above expectations of a 0.1% gain, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Output in August was revised down sharply to a flat reading from the prior estimate of a 0.4% gain.

Manufacturing rose 0.4% in September and motor vehicle production rose 0.3%, held down by the ongoing strike against three automakers.

Capacity utilization rose to 79.7 from 79.5 in August. The capacity utilization rate reflects the limits to operating the nation’s factories, mines and utilities. 

Economists had forecast a 79.7% rate.

Key details: Utilities output fell 0.3% in September.

Mining output, which includes oil and natural gas, rose 0.4%, which was the fourth straight monthly gain.

The index for defense goods had its fifth monthly gain of at least 1%.

Big picture: Richard Moody, chief economist of Regions Financial, noted that the UAW strike started mid-month and the initial wave of walkouts was fairly modest. The wider the strike spreads, and the longer it lasts, the more pronounced the impact will be, he said.

Market reaction: U.S. stocks

opened lower on Tuesday while the 10-year Treasury note yield
rose to 4.84% in early trading.

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