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%.
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