US construction spending spiked in January, with investment in public projects rising to a more than 8-year high, which could boost economic growth estimates for the first quarter.
The US Commerce Department said on Wednesday that construction spending jumped 1.3%, the largest increase since last April, after a revised 0.8% fall in December.
Economists polled by had forecast construction spending rising 0.4 percent in January after a previously reported 0.6 percent drop in December.
Construction spending increased 0.3% on a Y-Y basis in January. The release of the January report was delayed by a 5-week partial shutdown of the government that ended on 25 January.
The February construction spending report will be published on 1 April as scheduled.
In January, investment in public construction projects increased 4.9% to its highest level since September 2010. The percent increase was the largest since March 2004 and followed a 1.0% fall in December.
Spending on federal government construction projects increased 4.2% to the highest level since October 2017 after falling 1.9% in December. Investment in state and local government construction projects rose 4.9% to a 9.5-year high after falling 1.0% prior.
Spending on private construction projects rose 0.2% in January after declining for 2 months running. Investment in private residential projects dropped 0.3%, falling for the 6th month running.
Spending on private nonresidential structures, which includes manufacturing and power plants, rose 0.8% in January after increasing 0.6% in December.
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