On January 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. construction spending rose to its highest level in nearly five years in November, led by a surge in private construction project spending.
Construction spending increased 1 percent to an annual rate of $934.4 billion, the highest level since March 2009. Total construction spending in the U.S. has now increased for eight straight months.
Economists had expected a gain of 0.6 percent in November. Construction spending in October was revised to show a 0.9 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent increase.
The Commerce Department’s construction report was consistent with a stronger economy, which was suggested in the third-quarter’s accelerated 4.1 percent annual GDP rate.
Private construction spending in November rose 2.2 percent, to its highest level since December, 2008. It had been flat in October. This increase reflected strong gains in spending on both private residential and nonresidential projects. Private residential spending hit its highest level since June 2008 and outlays on nonresidential structures, which include industrial and commercial construction, touched an 11-month high.
In November, public construction spending fell 1.8 percent as both outlays on federal and state and local government projects declined.