MANUFACTURING EXPANDS: Manufacturing activity expanded for the 21st straight month in April, though at a slower pace than March. A trade group said its index of manufacturing activity dipped to 60.4 from 61.2 in March. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
CONSTRUCTION TICKS UP: Construction spending rose 1.4 percent in March, according to a separate report, after falling for three straight months. But construction spending is still at about half the level economists consider healthy.
FASTER GROWTH: The reports signal the economy should grow faster in the April-June quarter than the anemic 1.8 percent annual rate in the January-March period.