Factories, Builders Boost Economy At End Of Year

manufacturers doing well growth month
manufacturers doing well growth month

By Christopher S. Rugaber


WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. manufacturers ended 2011 with their best month of growth since the late spring. And the struggling construction industry spent more on projects for the third time in four months.

The data bolstered hopes that the economy is gaining momentum and helped Wall Street start 2012 with a bang.