NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Industrial production and capacity utilization rose more than expected in December, as manufacturing, mining and utilities output increased.

Industrial production gained 0.8% after rising 0.3% in November. Economists were expecting production to rise by 0.6% according to Briefing.com. In 2010, industrial production rose 5.9%.

Manufacturing and mining output both rose 0.4%. Utilities output, which tends to vary sharply from month to month, jumped 4.3% as extreme weather raised demand for heating.

Capacity utilization rose to 76% from 75.4% in November, led by higher utilization rates in manufacturing and utilities. The rate is 4.6 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009, indicative of the slack in the economy.

A utilization of 85% and above is considered a threshold for inflationary pressures.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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