Construction spending in the U.S. edged up 0.1% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $930.5 billion, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.
After increasing a revised 0.8% in November to a near five-year high, construction spending had been expected to flatline for December.
Private construction led the upward push, bumping up 1%. Residential construction added on 2.6%, more than making up for nonresidential construction's slight 0.7% slump. Spending on single-family homes rose 3.4% in December and 21.6% from a year earlier. More than two-thirds of the residential construction market comes from single-family homes. Construction of apartments and condominiums was up 0.5% in December and up 27.3% from December 2012.
Despite increases in residential spending, home sales might be in for tougher times in 2014, according to a National Association of Realtors report and a Commerce Department report from last week citing slower sales for December.
Public construction slimmed its piece of the spending pie, dropping 2.3% for December. Educational spending took the largest dip, down 7.2%.
For all of 2013, overall construction spending was up 4.8% compared to 2012..
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.