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Led by autos, US industrial output rises in August

Output by American industries rose for the third straight month in August, led by jump in auto manufacturing, according to a Federal Reserve report published Friday.

An uptick in oil and gas production also saw capacity in use for the mining sector hit its highest level in 10 years, Fed statistics showed.

Excluding the August rebound in autos, however, industrial production was unchanged for the month.

Overall, factory output rose 0.4 percent for the month, which matched analyst forecasts and was the same as the increase recorded in July.

This left industrial production 4.9 percent higher than August of last year.

Motor vehicle assemblies hit their strongest reading since April at 11.5 million units, recovering from July's 1.4 percent dip. This helped drive a 0.2 percent gain in the manufacturing sector.

This was in contrast to data from the Commerce Department for August, also released Friday, showing a decline in auto sales in the month.

Output for the mining sector rose 0.7 percent, marking the seventh straight monthly gain and putting the sector up 14 percent over August 2017.

Capacity in use for the industrial sector nudged two tenths higher to 78.1 percent, its highest reading since April, but still 1.7 points lower than the average of the prior 45 years.

But in the mining sector rose utilization rose 92 percent, its highest level since August 2008.