U.S. construction spending highest in nearly five years

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 2, 2014 10:01am EST

A pedestrian walks over a large construction project for U.S. Customs at the San Ysidro border crossing into the United States in San Ysidro, California, March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A pedestrian walks over a large construction project for U.S. Customs at the San Ysidro border crossing into the United States in San Ysidro, California, March 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. construction spending rose to its highest level in nearly five years in November as a surge in private construction projects offset a drop in public outlays.

Construction spending increased 1 percent to an annual rate of $934.4 billion, the highest level since March 2009, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. It was the eighth straight month that construction spending increased.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 0.6 percent in November. Construction spending in October was revised to show a 0.9 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent increase.

The report added to data ranging from employment to consumer spending that have suggested resilience in the economy even as growth is expected to step down from the third-quarter's brisk 4.1 percent annual rate.

Construction spending in November was lifted by a jump in private construction projects to their highest level since December 2008. Private construction spending rose 2.2 percent after being flat in October.

The increase reflected strong gains in spending on both residential and nonresidential projects. Private residential spending hit its highest level since June 2008 and outlays on nonresidential structures, which include factories and gas pipelines, touched an 11-month high.

Public construction spending fell 1.8 percent as both outlays on federal and state and local government projects declined.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
AlkalineState wrote:
Knock knock.

Who’s There?

Obama was right.

Jan 02, 2014 11:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Recommended Newsletters

Reuters U.S. Top News
A quick-fix on the day's news published with Reuters videos and award-winning news photography and delivered at your choice of one of four times during the day.
Reuters Deals Today
The latest Reuters articles on M&A, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds and regulatory updates delivered to your inbox each day.
Reuters Technology Report
Your daily briefing on the latest tech developments from around the world from Reuters expert tech correspondents.