WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- The nation's miners, factory and utility workers continued to pump out more goods in January, as government statistics showed industrial production expanded at a slightly better pace compared to the prior month.
statistics released Wednesday showed production amid the major industrial sectors rose 0.9% last month. The jump outpaced the 0.7% uptick expected by surveyed Street analysts, according to figures provided by Briefing.com, as well as December's upwardly revised 0.7% advance.
The report went on to show manufacturing production, in particular, rose 1% last month. Both utility and mining output tracked higher by 0.7% each.
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial, cited cold weather as a primary driver for the recent upswing in utilities, including the 6.3% rise in December.
"Utilities account for about 12% of industrial production," he wrote in a note, "and so will be a drag on headline IP once the weather reverts to seasonal norms."
Consumer goods production jumped 1.1%, helped by a surge in cars and clothing, while business equipment output improved 0.9%.
Defense and space equipment also rose 1.5% in January after slumping 0.6% in December.
Factory utilization improved last month, as the usage rate came in line with expectations by improving to 72.6%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained 27 points, or 0.3%, at 10,296 in the morning. The blue-chip average was being helped by major manufacturing names
, which rose 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively, as well as home improvement retailer ,
, which was up 1.8%.
-- Written by Sung Moss in New York