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Industrial output flat in May

A Ford Motor production worker assembles batteries for Ford electric and hybrid vehicles at the Ford Rawsonville Assembly Plant in Ypsilanti
A Ford Motor production worker assembles batteries for Ford electric and hybrid vehicles at the Ford Rawsonville Assembly Plant in Ypsilanti

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Industrial production was unchanged in May, the Federal Reserve said on Friday, compared with forecasts for a light increase after gains in manufacturing and mining were offset by a sharp drop in the output of utilities.

Analysts had expected a 0.2 percent rise in May industrial output following a revised 0.4 percent decline the previous month. Factory output rose 0.1 percent, matching expectations, while mining advanced 0.7 percent. But utilities output slumped by 1.8 percent.

Industrial capacity utilization, a measure of how fully firms are deploying their resources, edged down to 77.6 percent from 77.7 percent in April, a rate that lies 2.6 percentage points below its estimated long-run average. Analysts had forecast capacity utilization to come in at 77.9 percent.

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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