WASHINGTON DC - US industrial output surged by 0.8% in April, beating forecasts and reaching the highest level since July 2000, the Federal Reserve reported.
   American factories are working at 81.9% of their capacity, raising the threat of inflationary price rises as they approach their production limits.
   However, Commerce Department figures showed that housebuilders are slowing down.
   Housing starts fell for the third month in a row in April, by a higher than expected 7.4%. Building permits, a sign of future house construction, fell by 5.4%.