Strong construction and housing data help build confidence in economy


Two economic indicators released Monday signal an ongoing U.S. economic recovery. First, construction spending rose 0.8 percent in September, the U.S. Commerce Department announced, well above the 0.2 percent decline expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Also, pending homes sales rose 6.1 percent in September, the National Association of Realtors said; it was the index's eighth straight monthly rise.

The September rise in construction was boosted by spending on private residential building, which rose 3.9 percent, the Commerce Department said. Further, although August's construction spending total was revised lower to a 0.1 percent decline from the previously released 0.8 percent, U.S. stock markets will probably look past the August data and emphasize the more recent September increase. Also in September, non-residential construction rose 1.8 percent.