Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Manufacturing dips, construction jumps

January 4, 2006


Manufacturing grew at a surprisingly slower pace in December, a month after construction spending jumped due to a pickup in highway and school building as well as projects that may be tied to recovery efforts in states hurt by 2005's deadly hurricanes.

The economic reports were released Tuesday ahead of the minutes of a Federal Reserve policymaking meeting that suggested the central bank may be close to halting its series of interest rate increases.

Prices of stocks rebounded after the release of the Fed meeting minutes, and the Dow closed up Tuesday by nearly 130 points.

A private industry group which surveyed business executives said manufacturing slowed in December as prices for fuel and raw materials fell. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 54.2 last month from November's 58.1. A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.

A regional survey showed that Kansas declined in December to 53.5 from November's 57.1 and October's 66.0.


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