The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in September, suggesting the economy may overcome the effects of the two recent hurricanes.
The strength of the expansion surprised some analysts who were expecting a decline.
Monday's data came from a survey by the Institute for Supply Managers. Their index of manufacturing activity grew 5.8 points to a reading of 59.4.
Any reading over 50 indicates an expanding manufacturing sector.
A separate report from the U.S. Commerce Department Monday said construction spending in the United States climbed to a record high in August.
Some experts said the increase was fueled by a renewed boom in housing. Many analysts expect further expansion of the construction sector as residents rebuild homes and businesses wrecked by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.