Building blocks for a US rate rise

Rebounding construction activity in the US is another positive sign for the country's economic outlook and the prospect for a rate rise in the not-too-distant future.

After a rocky start to the year, construction activity in the US has increased sharply over the past four months and poses some upside risk for the economic outlook. With the household sector weighed down by debt and soft wage growth, the Federal Reserve would be relieved to see the construction sector bounce back -- even if progress has been slow.

In the US construction activity rose by 1.8 per cent in July, beating market expectations, to be 8.2 per cent higher over the year. Activity has picked up over recent months -- albeit not in all categories -- after a fairly soft start to the year.

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