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U.S. industrial output posts largest gain in seven months

(Reuters) - U.S. industrial production recorded its largest increase in seven months in September as utilities output surged after several months of declines, but manufacturing showed signs of cooling.

Industrial output rose 0.6 percent last month after increasing 0.4 percent in August, the Federal Reserve said on Monday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected industrial output would rise 0.4 percent.

For the third quarter, production at the nation's factories, mines and utility plants rose at an annual rate of 2.3 percent, accelerating from the second-quarter's 1.1 percent pace.

Manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent last month after advancing 0.5 percent in August as automobile output slowed a bit and furniture fell.

Manufacturing output rose at a 1.2 percent rate in the third quarter, rebounding from a 0.1 percent fall.

Utilities rebounded 4.4 percent in September after five straight months of declines.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)