Business

Factory, construction growth boost 2014 outlook

Workers at Sheffield Platers on the factory floor in San Diego. Reports show solid growth in manufacturing for 2014.
Workers at Sheffield Platers on the factory floor in San Diego. Reports show solid growth in manufacturing for 2014.Credit: Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press/File

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Expectations are rising for a stronger US economy in 2014 after reports Thursday showed solid growth in manufacturing and construction spending at the end of last year.

Factory activity in December stayed near a 2½ -year high. Americans are buying more cars and homes, increasing demand for steel, furniture, and other manufactured goods. Manufacturers have boosted hiring to meet that demand and may add jobs at a healthier pace this year.

Also, builders stepped up spending on home construction in November, despite recent increases in borrowing rates. That suggests many remain confident in the housing recovery.

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