02/15/2017 04:16 EST | Updated 02/16/2018 00:12 EST

US factory output rose in January for 2nd straight month

WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturers cranked out more steel, machinery and electronics last month as factories appear to be rebounding after two years of stagnation.

The Federal Reserve says factory output rose 0.2 per cent in January, its second straight increase. While modest, the gain is equal to the industry's growth in all of 2016.

Oil and gas drillers cut back on building new rigs after energy prices plunged two years ago. That caused orders for steel pipe and other drilling equipment to plummet. Weak overseas economies in Europe and China also cut into exports. Yet those trends have largely reversed.

Mining production rose 2.8 per cent last month, pushed higher by a big gain in oil and gas drilling. A broader measure of industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, dropped 0.3 per cent.