Spending on construction in April rose 2.7% from the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and may give a "reason to hope that the worst may be behind" the industry, says Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight. The gain is the greatest monthly increase since August 2000, but overall spending is still 10.5% below that of April 2009. Meanwhile, factory orders increased in May, and the Institute for Supply Management index came in just slightly below April's level.

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