Industrial production rose by 0.9 percent in January, the seventh consecutive monthly increase and more than the 0.6 percent growth that economists expected, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. The month's industrial production numbers rose in all three major categories: manufacturing, mining, and energy utilities.
In December, manufacturing and mining activity actually fell, but weather-related gains in utility production offset that decline. In January, manufacturing led with a 1.0 percent increase, reversing a 0.1 percent loss in December. That followed a 0.1 percent decline in October and a 1.0 percent gain in November. It was the largest increase since manufacturing activity grew by 1.2 percent in August 2009.
These frequent swings from positive to negative represent a typical pattern during a slow economic recovery, according to economists.