Nation : Factory Use Highest Since 1979

From Times wire services

The operating rate at U.S. factories, mines and utilities rose in December to its highest since November, 1979, the government reported today.

The Federal Reserve Board said the use of industrial capacity rose 0.1 percentage point to 84.2% last month, the highest rate since 84.3% in November, 1979. As capacity use edges toward 85%, economists fear factories will have trouble producing enough goods to meet demand, leading to shortages and price increases.