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U.S. industrial production likely to have picked up modestly in April, says Wells Fargo

The U.S. industrial production expanded in March, recording the second largest rise in over a year. But the growth was nearly entirely driven by a sharp rise in utilities output that reflected the return of more normal temperatures in March. Looking past the headline, manufacturing production dropped 0.4 percent year-on-year, breaking a six-month string of growth.

Markedly, motor vehicle and parts output dropped 3 percent as auto production declined. The softness was not just in autos, as drops were seen throughout most durable and nondurable subsectors. While the ISM manufacturing index dropped down again in April, the index continues to be at a still strong level that is consistent with projection.

According to a Wells Fargo research report, the industrial production is expected to have picked up modestly in April. A breakout in activity appears unlikely in the near term, but manufacturing output is expected to have grown slightly in April and is expected to have risen 0.4 percent.

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