WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.
The Federal Reserve says manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.
Overall industrial production fell 0.1 percent after a 0.7 percent September gain. The mining sector, which includes oil and gas drilling, declined 1.6 percent after six months of gains. Utility output fell 1.1 percent.
Manufacturing output has risen in five of the past six months. Factories have also stepped up hiring over the past three months, according to the government's October employment report released last week.