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U.S. Factory, Construction Data Brighten Economic Outlook

Posted January 04, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Lucia Mutikani – Reuters)

U.S. factory activity increased more than expected in December, boosted by a surge in new orders growth, in a further sign of strong economic momentum at the end of 2017.

The economy’s robust fundamentals were also underscored by other data on Wednesday showing construction spending rising to a record high in November amid broad gains in both private and public outlays. Given the bullish growth outlook, economists expect the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in March after increasing borrowing costs three times last year.

“Strong manufacturing and construction data confirm the U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders at the turn of the year,” said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “The Fed remains solidly on track to lift rates again in March and two more times this year, with possible upside risk if growth doesn’t simmer down.” Click here to read more.