May 3 (Reuters) – U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in three weeks even as crude output decelerates with the rig count dropping five months in a row due to spending cuts.

Companies added two oil rigs in the week to May 3, bringing the total count to 807, lower than the 834 rigs active this time last year, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, has declined over the past five months as independent exploration and production companies cut spending on new drilling as they focus more on earnings growth instead of increased output.