Manufacturing plunges, construction increases

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Manufacturing in the U.S. has dipped to a five-year low.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index dropped to 47.7, the lowest reading since April 2003, from 50.8 the prior month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below 50 signifies contraction.

Manufacturing has been negatively affected by the housing recession, which has impacted building-related industries, credit availability and consumer and business spending.

However, the Commerce Department reports that spending on U.S. construction projects rose 0.1 percent during November. The increase followed a 0.4 percent drop in October.