U.S. industrial output rose 0.4% in March, according to a Federal Reserve report, compared with a 0.4%. drop in February.
The consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation, rose 0.1% in March, according to a Department of Labor report, matching the 0.1% forecast by analysts, and below a 0.3% jump in February.
The overall CPI number was dragged lower by a 3.7% drop in gasoline prices and a 2.1% drop inprices, which began to rise sharply at the end of March and should continue to rise in April, analysts say.
The government said March building permits fell 3.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.615 million after a 2.8% drop in February. But both declines were modest, suggesting the home-building industry is still reasonably confident about future prospects for the economy.