WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. factory activity increased more than expected in December, boosted by a surge in new orders growth, in a further sign of strong economic momentum at the end of 2017.

The economy’s robust fundamentals were also underscored by other data on Wednesday showing construction spending rising to a record high in November amid broad gains in both private and public outlays.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 59.7 last month from 58.2 in November. A

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