US construction spending rises 0.8 per cent in November

By The Canadian Press
January 3, 2018 - 8:15am

WASHINGTON — U.S. builders spent 0.8 per cent more on construction projects in November, the fourth consecutive monthly gain.

November advance follows October's revised 0.9 per cent gain, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The increase brought total construction spending for the month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.26 trillion, 2.4 per cent above the level from a year earlier.

The increase in spending by builders, along with a robust manufacturing report released separately Wednesday, underscores the solid momentum of the U.S. economy heading into the new year.

The November increase was led by a solid advance in homebuilding, which rose 1 per cent from October as strength in single-family construction offset weakness in apartment building. Construction of single-family homes rose 1.9 per cent in November, offsetting a 1.3 per cent drop in apartment building.

Non-residential construction rebounded 0.9 per cent in November after declining four of the last five months, led by office building, which rose 5.5 per cent.

Spending on transportation construction was up 3.7 per cent, putting it 42.2 per cent higher than a year ago, the largest advance by far by any sector.

Government construction posted a modest 0.2 per cent increase after much bigger gains in the previous three months. Federal construction spending plunged 4.8 per cent, the biggest drop in five months. That weakness was offset by a 0.7 per cent rise in state and local construction, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of total government activity.

Matt Ott, The Associated Press

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