U.S. factory output surges in July

Quality control inspector Tina Person (left) and scanner operator Dewanna Murphy inspect tubes that are used in the production of the fuel bundle assembly at the GE Hitachi plant in Castle Hayne, N.C.

WASHINGTON - U.S. factory output rose for the sixth consecutive month in July, led by a jump in the production of motor vehicles, furniture, textiles and metals.

The Federal Reserve reports that manufacturing production rose 1 percent in July compared to the prior month. Factory output in June was revised slightly higher to a 0.3 percent increase. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has risen 4.9 percent.

Demand for autos surged 10.1 percent last month, the largest increase since July 2009. The increase points to stronger growth across the economy, suggesting that manufacturers expect the pace of business investment and consumer spending to improve in the coming months.