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Broad Gain in Factory Production Signals Strength: Economy

Factories in July were the busiest in five months as cars rolled off U.S. assembly lines at the fastest rate in 14 years and a stronger economy encouraged American companies to invest in equipment.

The 1 percent gain at manufacturers followed a 0.3 percent increase in the prior month that was bigger than initially estimated, the Federal Reserve said today in Washington. Total industrial production, which also includes mines and utilities, advanced 0.4 percent for a second month. Another report showed a record cross-border investment outflow from the U.S. in June as foreign investors reduced their holdings of government debt.