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Construction Spending Edges up 0.1% for December

By Justin Loiseau - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:41PM

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Residential spending pushes ahead; public construction tapers off.

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. 

Source: Commerce Department..

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.

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