U.S. industrial production rose 0.6 percent in March as mining and utility output became less volatile, while capacity use reached its highest point in 5-1/2 years, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.
The Fed said March utility output rose 0.5 percent after a large jump in February due to cold temperatures followed a big decline in January driven by warm weather.
Output from the nation's mines rose 0.9 percent after falling 0.7 percent in February, as oil and gas facilities continued their recovery from hurricanes last year, while coal output surged.
Manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent, driven by strong gains in motor vehicles and electronics.
Predictably, capacity utilisation rose as well.
Capacity utilization, a measure of how close to full potential factories, mines and utilities are running, rose to 81.3 percent from a downwardly revised 81.0 in February, marking its highest level since reaching 81.5 percent in September 2000.
This seems consistent with the ISM index, which has also held up well lately.