Spending on new industrial construction projects rose $28.1 billion in the 12-month period ended last May, for a seasonally-adjusted annual increase of 24.3%, according to the Census Bureau. It was the largest increase for any category of construction during the period. The surge left manufacturing still far below the $40 billion a year levels achieved in the mid-1990s, but returned construction spending in the sector back to levels last seen in 2001.
Moreover, economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in June for the 25th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Especially encouraging was an improved rate of growth in new orders, combined with a slower rate of price escalation.