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.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.