WASHINGTON -- The nation’s factories cranked out products last month at the fastest pace in nearly two years as they made up for lost output caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Industrial production beat analyst expectations and increased 1.1% in November from the previous month, the Federal Reserve said Friday.
The gains were mostly caused by a pickup in industries such as construction that were affected by Sandy, which hit the Northeast in late October. The storm caused industrial production to drop a revised 0.7% in October, which was worse than the 0.4% originally reported, the Fed said.
Manufacturing was particularly affected, with production dropping 1% in October from the previous month. It bounced back to post a 1.1% gain in November.
“Nearly all the decline in factory output in October is estimated to have been related to Hurricane Sandy, and the increase in November reflects a post-hurricane rebound in production as well as the solid advance in the output of motor vehicles and parts,” the Fed said.
The Fed’s index for automotive products increased 3.4% in November from the previous month, the first rise in five months.
Industrial production is made up of output from factories as well as from utility companies and mining operations, which include oil and gas exploration.