US factory production rose a healthy 0.5 percent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories cranked out more appliances, computers and aircraft last month, lifting manufacturing production for only the second time in five months.

The Federal Reserve says that factory output rose 0.5 percent in April after a flat reading in March. In the past year, production has increased a modest 1.8 percent.

U.S. manufacturers are benefiting from solid consumer and business spending, while also facing uncertainty because of steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. The production of machinery jumped 2.3 percent last month, while the output of metals fell 0.5 percent.

A broader measure of industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, rose 0.7 percent. Mining output, lifted by higher oil prices, jumped 1.1 percent. Utilities output rose 1.9 percent.