US industrial output rebounds

The nation's industrial output rose in February for the first time in seven months, but the gain did not necessarily signal an end to the recession, the Federal Reserve Board said.

Industrial production increased by 1.6 percent last month after a 2.5 percent decline in January. The increase was the first since a 0.7 percent jump last July, but the Federal Reserve Board said it appeared to reflect a rebound from depressed production levels in January, due partly to severe winter weather that caused plant closings in many regions, rather than a dramatic end to the recession.

Despite last month's gain, production levels were still down 1percent from December and have fallen 7.9 percent since the downturn began last July. All sectors of the economy reported increased production last month, the Federal Reserve Board said. Production of consumer goods rose 1.7 percent, although that was not quite enough to offset a two percent drop in January.

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