Construction picks up as house building hits three-year high

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The raft of federal and state stimulus measures pushed house building picked up to its busiest pace in more than three years in October, even as apartments, commercial and infrastructure remained subdued.

A key index of building activity of detached homes jumped 4.4 points to 61.3 – further above the benchmark 50-level, indicating faster growth – while a separate sub-index for new house orders, an indicator of future activity, soared 11.9 points to 67.1 points, the highest-ever level for that measure.

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