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US factories increase output in June for 2nd month

July 16, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories cranked out more business equipment, home electronics and autos last month, boosting manufacturing output for the second straight month.

The Federal Reserve says factory production rose 0.3 percent in June from May. That followed a 0.2 percent gain the previous month. Still, the two months of gains barely offset drops in March and April. Manufacturing output is up just 1.8 percent over the past year.

Overall industrial production, which includes factories, mines and utilities, also rose 0.3 percent in June. Mining output increased 0.8 percent, and utility output slid 0.1 percent.

Manufacturing, the most critical component of industrial production, has struggled this year, providing little support to the economy. A recession in Europe and a slowdown in China have reduced demand for U.S. goods.

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