The numbers: U.S. industrial production rose 0.4% in June, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

The gain was below Wall Street expectations of a 0.6% rise, according to a survey by the Wall Street Journal.

Output in May was revised down slightly to a 0.7% rise from the initial estimate of a 0.1% gain.

Capacity utilization rose to 75.4% in June, the highest rate since the pandemic struck last year. The capacity utilization rate reflects the limits to operating the nation’s factories, mines and utilities. 

It’s still well below levels, estimated around 80%, that could cool production costs and prices.

What happened: In June, manufacturing activity edged down 0.1%, as the shortage of semiconductors contributed to a 6.6% drop in production of motor vehicles and parts.

Excluding autos, industrial output rose 0.8% in the month.

Utilities output rose 2.7% after a 0.8% decline in May. Mining output, which includes oil and natural gas, rose 1.4% in June after a 0.8% gain in the prior month.

Big picture: Supply constraints continue to cause factories to struggle but there are signs some shortages could be easing.

Early readings of factory conditions in July, indicate robust conditions, with the Empire State factory index hitting a record high.

Market reaction: U.S. stocks
DJIA,
+0.01%

SPX,
-0.20%

opened lower on Thursday on worries about the health of the global economy.

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