WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. manufacturing sector is using less energy based on trends set during the last decade, the U.S. Energy Department's statistical arm said.
The Energy Information Administration said energy consumption from the manufacturing sector declined 17 percent from 2002 to 2010. Gross output from the sector declined 3 percent during the same period.
The manufacturing sector made up more than 11 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2010.
"These data indicate a significant decline in the amount of energy used per unit of gross manufacturing output," the EIA stated. "The significant decline in energy intensity reflects both improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the manufacturing output mix."
The Wall Street Journal in early March reported that the U.S. manufacturing index reached 54.2 last month, the highest level in more than a year. This suggests the U.S. economy is recovering despite ongoing concerns in Europe and a slowdown in the Asian markets.