(Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing output recorded its largest increase in nine months in November as production expanded across the board, pointing to underlying strength in the economy.
Factory production increased 1.1 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent advance in October, the Federal Reserve said on Monday.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output rising by only 0.5 percent in November after a previously reported 0.2 percent gain in October.
Mining output slipped 0.1 percent last month, while utilities production jumped 5.1 percent as a cold snap boosted demand for utilities.
The gain in manufacturing and utilities combined to lift overall industrial production by 1.3 percent in November, the largest gain since May 2010. October's industrial output was revised to show a 0.1 percent increase instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent dip.
The amount of manufacturing capacity in use rose to 78.4 percent last month from 77.6 percent in October.
Overall industrial capacity use increased to 80.1 percent, the highest since March 2008, from 79.3 percent in October.
Officials at the Fed tend to look at capacity use as a signal of how much "slack" remains in the economy and how much room there is for growth to run before it becomes inflationary.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)