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Construction, Manufacturing Spending Rises

Construction spending in the U.S. soared to a more-than-six-year high in April, while manufacturing growth gained steam in May, according to two new studies. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Monday that construction spending increased 2.2% to an annual rate of $1 trillion. That’s the highest tally since November 2008. Also encouraging, the percent increase was the largest since May 2012.

In April, state and local projects fueled a 3.3% spending spike on public construction. Meanwhile, private construction outlays rose 1.8% to the highest level since October 2008. In particular, spending on private residential construction ticked up 0.6%, while investment in non-residential construction projects surged 3.1%, reaching a six-year high.

The numbers were good in the manufacturing sector, too. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its index of national factory activity rose from 51.5 in April to 52.8 in May. A reading above 50 suggests that the manufacturing sector is growing.

Furthermore, manufacturers are again creating jobs, with the ISM employment index increasing from 48.3 in April to 51.7 in May. Last month, ISM’s index on new orders went northward too, jumping from 53.5 in April to 55.8 in May.