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Business Briefing: Local construction rates soar

St. Louis-area construction starts have jumped since last year.

Both residential and commercial construction activity are soaring, according to industry data and statistical analysts Dodge Data & Analytics. Their latest report shows residential construction has exceeded $1.3 billion so far this year, after reaching $1.1 billion at this same point a year ago. Commercial construction starts have reached $1.2 billion this year. Some $879,000 in construction starts were recorded at this time last year.

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Economists believe the economy is getting stronger since the third quarter, when the gross domestic product grew by a slow 1.5 percent. That was off from the 3.9 percent growth recorded during the previous quarter. Consumer spending remained strong during that time as it rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate. Read more here.

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reported a strong third quarter amid the deflating cost for raw materials. The tire maker exceeded Wall Street projections by posting a 68 percent boost in profit to $271 million, or 99 cents, per share. Learn more here.

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Aetna has raised its earnings forecast for the year, again. The health insurer now expects its adjusted earnings to reach as high as $7.55 a share. That’s up from the previous per-share earning forecast of $7.40 that was released in August. Find out more here.

-Will Buss, BND business writer

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