U.S. construction spending rises in March

WASHINGTON, May 3 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. construction spending
unexpectedly rose in March to post the first advance since
October, lifted by a rebound in public construction investment,
a government report showed on Monday.

The Commerce Department said construction spending
increased 0.2 percent, the largest gain since October, to an
annual rate of $847.3 billion. That followed February’s
revised 2.1 percent drop that was previously reported as a 1.3
percent fall.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast construction
spending falling 0.3 percent in March.

Public construction spending surged 2.3 percent in March,
the biggest rise since February last year, reversing the prior
month’s 1.6 percent slump. Investment in private construction
spending fell 0.9 percent to $550.81 billion, the lowest level
since January 1999. Private construction spending fell 2.4
percent in February.

The decline in private construction spending in March was
led by private home building, which dropped 1.1 percent. New
home construction contracted in the first quarter of 2010 after
two straight quarters of gains, subtracting from overall growth
during the period, a government report showed on Friday.

Private nonresidential spending, suffering from high
vacancy rates and tight access to credit, fell 0.7 percent in
March, extending the 1.5 percent decline in February.
Investment in structures has dropped for seven straight
quarters.

State and local government investment in construction
projects rose 2.5 percent in March after falling 2 percent in
February. Federal construction rose 0.3 percent, building on a
2.9 percent

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(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

U.S. construction spending rises in March