The numbers: U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in July, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.
The gain was above Wall Street expectations of a 0.3% increase, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.
Capacity utilization rebounded to 80.3% in July from 79.9% in the prior month. The capacity utilization rate reflects the limits to operating the nation’s factories, mines and utilities. Economists had forecast a 80.2% rate.
Output of the U.S. industrial sector was at an all-time high, eclipsing the level hit in 2018.
Key details: Manufacturing rose 0.7% in July after falling in the prior two months.
Motor vehicles and parts output rose 6.6% after a 1.3% fall on the prior month. Excluding autos, total industrial output increased 0.3%. Auto assemblies were the highest since August 2020.
Utilities output fell 0.8% in July. Mining output, which includes oil and natural gas, rose 0.7%, the third straight solid gain. Oil and gas drilling is at a 7-year high.
Big picture: Surveys of manufacturers show growing concern about the sector going forward, but the strong July reading was expected after the jobs report released early in the month showed a solid increase in hours worked in the sector.