Construction Spending Riding High For First Time Since 2006

Mon April 03, 2017 - National Edition
Lucia Mutikani and Andrea Ricci - Reuters

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U.S. construction spending rose to a near 11-year high in February amid robust gains in home building investment.

The Commerce Department said on April 3 that construction spending increased 0.8 percent to $1.19 trillion. That was the highest level since April 2006 and followed an upwardly revised 0.4 percent drop in January.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rebounding 1.1 percent in February after a previously reported 1.0 percent decline the prior month. Construction spending increased 3.0 percent from a year ago.

In February, private construction spending rose 0.8 percent to its highest level since May 2006 after being unchanged in January. Spending on residential construction surged 1.8 percent to its highest level since July 2007. Investment in homebuilding has now increased for five straight months.

Spending on private nonresidential structures fell 0.3 percent in February, declining for a second consecutive month.

In February, public construction spending rebounded 0.6 percent after three straight months of decreases. Outlays on state and local government construction projects rose 0.9 percent. It was the first increase in state and local government construction spending in three months.

Federal government construction spending fell 2.8 percent after tumbling 5.6 percent in January.

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