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Thu Feb 2, 2012, 03:55 PM

Manufacturing growth fastest since June; construction spending up for 5th straight month - WaPo

Washington Post

<all emphases are my own, Bill USA>

By Associated Press, Published: February 1

WASHINGTON U.S. manufacturing activity grew in January at the fastest pace in seven months, boosted by a rise in new orders. And builders ended a poor year for construction by spending more on homes and projects for the fifth straight month.

<continuing, the article points out that other reports also show a strengthening U.S. economy:>

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose last month to 54.1 from 53.1 in December. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Consumers are buying more cars and trucks, while businesses ordered more machinery and other equipment. [font size="3"]That has driven manufacturing, which expanded for the 30th straight month.[/font]

Both new orders and order backlogs rose to nine-month highs. Increasing order backlogs suggest manufacturers are lacking the capacity to meet demand. That could mean more growth in production and employment in the near future, economists said.

the fact that manufacturing has expanded for 30 straight months is kindof amazing considering the great efforts of the GOP to down-size any and all stimulus measures offered by the President. They successfully used the threat of filibuster to get the ARRA downsized with tax cuts (for people worried about their job security, meaning such cuts weren't spent but saved or used to pay down debt - no stimulus power there). By forcing cuts to States they caused layoffs of State and municipal workers (e.g. policemen, firemen, teachers) reducing demand further which helped GOP efforts to protect the Great Recession from whatever stimulus Obama could get through Congress.

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