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Low pickup in US output still exceeds forecasts

Factory production in August climbed 0.9 percent, Federal Reserve System economists said. It was the second-lowest increase of the year, but still stronger than many analysts expected.

The housing boom, softening because of high mortgage rates, still pulled production of construction supplies and home goods up sharply for another month. On the negative side, the telephone strike cut into the month's output of commercial equipment. The output of steel and automobiles made only moderate gains.

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