US Q4 industrial output stronger than thought: Fed

US industrial production fell in January but the final quarter of last year was much stronger than originally thought, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

January's production contracted 0.1 percent, and manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent.

But industrial production as a whole expanded at a 2.6 percent annual pace in the October-December 2012 quarter, compared to the previous estimate of just 1.0 percent, and manufacturing expanded 1.9 percent, compared to the previous estimate of 0.2 percent.

That suggested that the initial government estimate of an 0.1 percent contraction in the economy last quarter could be revised upward.

Manufacturing output in December was revised up to 1.1 percent and November 1.7 percent.

January's production was hit mainly by a 3.9 percent contraction in automotive products, while energy production surged 3.1 percent.

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