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U.S. manufacturing growth revs up, construction down

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in March at its strongest pace in 5 1/2 years, leading the rebound from the recession on growth in exports and inventory rebuilding. Another drop in construction spending in February, however, underscored weakness in real estate.

Meanwhile, the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits slipped last week as the economy moves closer to generating more jobs.

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