Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in February, beating expectations and marking the eighth straight monthly increase. But the key manufacturing sector produced less, showing that economic recovery is still a ways off.
The Federal Reserve reported Monday that manufacturing, the index's largest component, fell 0.2 percent; while mining and utilities increased by 2.0 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
It was a return to more measured gains after January's 0.9 percent increase. But the index's consistent gains suggested the economic recovery is durable, if muted.
Manufacturing took a hit from major winter storms that shut down most of the Northeast in February, but the increased demand for heating energy boosted mining and utility production.
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