Construction spending edged up 0.1% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $945.7 billion, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.
Although January's 0.1% increase was revised down to a 0.2% dip, analysts' expectations of a 0.1% rise for February proved spot-on.
For February, nonresidential buildings offset a decline in housing construction that was attributed to winter weather.
Private and public construction both increased 0.1% for February, but private construction's larger absolute spending contributed relatively more to the month's rise. While private residential construction fell 0.8% to a $360.4 billion annual rate, private nonresidential construction jumped 1.2% to $319.6 billion. Power and communication projects provided much of the push behind this increase.
In public construction, educational construction fell as highway spending soared. Educational construction fell 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $59.5 billion as highway spending accelerated 1.4% to a hefty $85.6 billion rate, enough to outweigh education's lull.
Year-over-year, overall construction spending is up 9.3% compared to just 6.6% from February 2012 to February 2013.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report. link