WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. factories made more cars, computers and airplanes last month, a hopeful sign that manufacturing is recovering after a weak spring.
The Federal Reserve says U.S. industrial production increased 0.6 percent in July from June, the fourth straight monthly increase.
Factory output, the most important component of industrial production, rose 0.5 percent, the second straight increase. Factory output has risen 21.9 percent since its recession low hit in June 2009 and is just 1.7 percent below the pre-recession peak for factory output reached in July 2007.
Factory production slowed this spring and some feared it could weaken further in coming months Europe's financial crisis and slower global growth cut demand for U.S. exports.