After three months of declines, an index that measures activity in the factory sector rose in September, the private Institute for Supply Management reports.
Its purchasing manager's index increased 1.9 percentage points, to 51.5 percent, thanks to gains in orders, production, employment and other key indicators.
Also this morning, the Census Bureau says there was a 0.9 percent gain in construction of homes and apartments in August from July — and that residential construction was up 16.1 percent from August 2011.
There was a slowing in other types of construction, however. Overall, the value of construction "put in place" declined by 0.6 percent from July to August. Still, construction overall was up 6.5 percent from the year before.