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US Q4 industrial output stronger: Fed

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WASHINGTON, Feb 15 AFP

February 16 2013, 03:05AM

US industrial production fell in January but the final quarter of last year was much stronger than originally thought, the Federal Reserve reported.

January's production contracted 0.1 per cent, and manufacturing output fell 0.4 per cent.

But industrial production as a whole expanded at a 2.6 per cent annual pace in the October-December 2012 quarter, compared to the previous estimate of just 1.0 per cent, and manufacturing expanded 1.9 per cent, compared to the previous estimate of 0.2 per cent.

That suggested that the initial government estimate of an 0.1 per cent contraction in the economy last quarter could be revised upward.

Manufacturing output in December was revised up to 1.1 per cent and November 1.7 per cent.

January's production was hit mainly by a 3.9 per cent contraction in automotive products, while energy production surged 3.1 per cent.