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U.S. industrial output rebounds in December

U.S. industrial output rebounds in December (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities rebounded in December after struggling in November, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. Industrial output rose 0.4% in December, in line with expectations. Output fell a revised 0.3% in November, slightly worse than the previous estimate of a 0.2% decline. Despite the month-to-moth volatility, output rose at 3.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter. Factory activity alone rose 0.9% in December after a 0.4 decrease in November. Capacity utilization - a gauge of slack in the economy - rose to 78.1% in December from 77.8% in November.