Recovery Strengthens as ISM, Construction Spending Gain
The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in April at its fastest pace in almost six years and at a rate that was above expectations, according to an industry report released Monday.
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 60.4 in April from 59.6 in March, The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Reuters was for a reading of 60.
The data represents a ninth straight month of gains, with the headline index at its highest since June 2004.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
A separate government report showed that U.S. construction spending unexpectedly rose in March to post the first advance since October, lifted by a rebound in public construction investment.
The Commerce Department said construction spending increased 0.2 percent, the largest gain since October, to an annual rate of $847.3 billion. That followed February's revised 2.1 percent drop that was previously reported as a 1.3 percent fall.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast construction spending falling 0.3 percent in March.
All that's missing from the economy smells like roses equation: Jobs, Deficits, Defaults. Still, positive signs cyclically sprout.