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U.S. factory activity jumps to near three-year high, construction spending flat

FILE PHOTO - A man walks his dog past a mural depicting factory workers in the historic Pullman neighborhood in Chicago November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Nelles/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. factory activity rose sharply in June to its highest level in almost three years suggesting economic growth in the second quarter gained some steam, while construction spending held steady in May.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday its index of national factory activity rose to a reading of 57.8 last month, its best performance since August 2014, from 54.9 in May.

A reading above 50 in the ISM index indicates an expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for roughly 12 percent of the overall U.S. economy.

"The ISM index provides further evidence that the prospects for the manufacturing sector remain bright," said Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics.

The reading adds to encouraging signs that the U.S. economy rebounded strongly in the April-June quarter. Following the data, the Atlanta Federal Reserve raised its forecast for second-quarter GDP...