Gain In Manufacturing; Drop In Construction

February 1, 2011

Mark Memmott

First the good news:

The private Institute for Supply Management says output at U.S. manufacturers grew in January — the 18th straight month it's done that. And, "new orders and production continue to be strong, and employment [as measured by an index the institute tracks] rose above 60 percent for the first time since May 2004."

Now, the bad news:

The Census Bureau says construction spending fell 2.5 percent in December from November and was down 6.4 percent from December 2009.

This week's most anticipated economic news, by the way, is Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the January unemployment rate and payroll employment. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.