Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

US housing recovery is continuing

Homes being built in California
The pending home sales data is the latest sign of recovery in the market

A key US housing index has risen to its highest level in almost three years, helped by first time buyers taking advantage of a popular tax break.

The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index rose 6.1% in September to 110.1, its eighth straight monthly rise.

Analysts said first time buyers were rushing to beat an end of November deadline for a tax credit.

Separate data showed US manufacturing output rising again in October.

The Institute of Supply Management said its factory index rose for the third consecutive month, increasing to 55.7 from 52.6, with any figure above 50 indicating growth in the sector.

It said both production and employment were increasing in the manufacturing sector.

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