US Construction Spending at 11-yr Highs
US construction spending in February rose to the highest marks in about 11 years on a spike in the building of homes, highways and schools across the nation
Construction spending rose 0.8% in February to the highest marks since April 2006, after 2 months of declines, the US Commerce Department said Monday
Builders are rapidly putting up more homes in response to strong demand that has pushed up prices for existing homes. The accelerated building could boost the economy this year.
State and local governments spent 0.9% more on construction, driven by roads, schools and recreational buildings.
The federal government, meanwhile, cut construction spending for the 2nd month running, and has cut back 9% from a year ago.
President Donald Trump has vowed to reverse that trend by boosting infrastructure spending by $1-T over the next 10 years.
State and local governments have also spent less on construction in the past year.
They are spending 8% less compared with February 2016. Infrastructure concerns have resurfaced after a large fire last week caused the collapse of a main highway bridge outside Atlanta.
The construction of commercial buildings such as hotels, office towers, and hospitals fell 0.3% in February, the 2nd straight decliner. Overall, commercial construction has risen 7.5% in the past year.
Spending on new home building, as well as renovations, rose almost 10% in Q-4 of Y 2016, the most in a year and providing a critical boost to growth.
The nation’s economy expanded at a 2.1% annual rate in Q-4, with housing-related construction accounting for 0.33 of a percentage point.
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