By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories barely increased their output in May after two months of declines, a sign that manufacturing is providing little support for the economy.
The Federal Reserve says manufacturing production increased just 0.1 percent in May from April. Output fell 0.4 percent in April and 0.3 percent in March.
Factories produced more autos, computers and wood products last month, offsetting declines in the production of primary metals such as steel and furniture.
Manufacturing output has risen just 1.7 percent in the past 12 months.
Overall industrial production was flat in May after a 0.4 percent drop in April. Utility output, which is heavily influenced by the weather, fell 1.8 percent after a 3.2 percent April drop. Mining output rose 0.7 percent after a 1.1 percent increase in April.
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