US factory output surged in December
US 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 showing construction spending rising to a record high in November.
Given the bullish growth outlook, economists expect the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in March after increasing borrowing costs three times last year.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 59.7 last month, the second-highest reading in six years, from 58.2 in November. A reading above 50 indicates growth in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12% of the US economy.