USA industries pumped out more goods in April to meet growing demand from consumers and businesses, another sign the economy is gaining momentum.
In April, total output rose by 0.7% versus the month before, according to the Federal Reserve. In the past year, production has increased a modest 1.8 percent.
Utilities increased 1.9% in April, after rising 6.1% in March. Despite downward revisions of output in three of the previous four months, production rose at a 2.3% rate in the first quarter.
The Fed's production report follows a survey of factory managers that showed a slowdown in US factory activity, with manufacturers complaining about rising commodity prices in the wake of the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
In particular, at up by 0.5% month-on-month, manufacturing production beat their projection for a dip of 0.1%, although offsetting weakness in the output of utilities meant that their tracking estimate for second quarter gross domestic product was unchanged at up by 3.0%.
Wednesday's report showed factories boosted production 0.5% in April from a month earlier, as American households step up spending and companies boost investment.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last month it was too early to know how the tariffs would affect the USA economic outlook. Auto sales have slowed after residents of Texas, Florida and other hurricane-hit areas replaced storm-damaged cars last fall.
Carmakers, meanwhile, slashed production 1.3 percent in April after two months of strong gains.