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Industrial Production in U.S. Probably Increased in January

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Fueling the growth, industry moves on and up Fueling the growth, industry moves on and up

Industrial production accelerated in January, indicating manufacturing will remain at the forefront of the U.S. economic expansion.

Output (IPMGCHNG) at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.7 percent, the biggest gain in six months, according to the median estimate of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Manufacturing in the New York region picked up this month and homebuilder confidence climbed to the highest level since mid-2007.

Business investment in new equipment and the need to rebuild inventories will probably keep factory assembly lines rolling at the start in 2012. Nonetheless, Europe’s financial crisis and slowing growth in emerging economies like China threaten to temper orders for U.S. goods.

“Manufacturing is growing at a fairly solid pace amid improvements in consumer and business demand,” said Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit. “One risk is if exports to Europe were to slow further.”

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