In August, US factories reached the highest output level since the beginning of the year, thanks to increased production at the auto plants.
The August results could be a sign that manufacturing might help the US economic growth during the second half of this year. Last month manufacturing production increased 0.7%, according to the Federal Reserve, the highest increase since December and followed a 0.4% decline in July.
Production at auto plants jumped 5.2% in August, after a drop of 4.5% in July. Overall industrial production saw an increase of 0.4% after a flat month in July. A survey released by the Institute of Supply Management showed that manufacturing activity in the US increased at the fastest pace in August since June 2011, thanks to overseas demand and new orders.
US plants might also take advantage of the stronger global economy, as countries in Europe increased during the April-June period for the first time in six quarters of declines and recession. Manufacturing in China has also risen in August for the first time after three months of declines.
The US economy increased at an annual rate of 2.5% during the April-June period and any analysts expect growth to slow to an annual rate of 2% in the July-September period. Still, growth is expected during the last three months of 2013.