The US industrial production in April surged at the fastest pace in more than a year, a sign that the U.S. economy will bounce back in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.
Industrial production, an indicator of manufacturing, mines and utilities output, increased 0.7 percent in April from the previous month, the biggest monthly gain since November 2014.
The improvement in the industrial production last month was largely driven by a 5.8 percent increase of utilities output, due to higher demand for electricity and natural gas after a warmer-than-usual weather in March.
But mining output fell 2.3 percent in April for its eighth consecutive monthly decline, as energy companies continued to reduce oil and gas drilling.
The manufacturing output, the largest component of the overall industrial production, rose 0.3 percent in April after falling by the same pace in March, a sign that the worst of the manufacturing sector's downturn resulted from the slowing global economy and the U.S. dollar appreciation may be over.
The gain in the overall industrial sector, coming after the recent release of strong retail sales data in April, indicated that the U.S. economy will bounce back in the second quarter after a disappointing start to the year.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, the weakest reading in two years and lower than the 1.4 percent increase in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported last month.
Economists are expecting the U.S. economic growth to rebound to about 2 percent in the second quarter.