Construction Spending, Manufacturing on the Rise

US Department of CommerceThe Commerce Department says construction spending increased 0.4 percent in November, but building activity is only 2.3 percent higher than in August, when it had fallen to the lowest level in a decade. Total spending increased to $810.2 billion in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. The strength in November came from a 0.7 percent rise in private residential construction, which increased to $235.7 billion at an annual rate. In addition, a report from the Institute for Supply Management finds economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 17th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 20th consecutive month.  “The recovery centered on strength in autos, metals, food, machinery, computers and electronics, while those industries tied primarily to housing continue to struggle,” says Norbert J. Ore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.  “Additionally, manufacturers that export have benefitted from both global demand and the weaker dollar. December’s strong readings in new orders and production, combined with positive comments from the panel, should create momentum as we go into the first quarter of 2011.”

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