Industrial production tops pre-recession levels as US economy improves

In the latest sign of a recovering US economy, the Federal Reserve announced on Monday that nationwide industrial production has surpassed peak pre-recession levels for the first time, bringing production to a nearly six year high. Overall industrial production — a measure of manufacturing, mining, and utility output — increased a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in November over the prior month. The biggest gains were in utilities, which are now performing 20 percent better than 2007 levels, and mining, while manufacturing saw only a smaller bump and remains slightly below pre-recession levels.

Manufacturing is on the rise, however. Output has increased four quarters in a row, with large gains coming from the auto and consumer…

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