US construction spending hits highest level in 10 years

U.S. builders boosted spending on construction projects for a second straight month in November, pushing activity to the highest level in more than a decade. Construction spending rose 0.9 percent in November after a 0.6 percent increase in October, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The increase reflected solid gains in home construction, nonresidential building and government construction activity. The gains in all three categories pushed total construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.18 trillion, the highest point since April 2006 when a housing boom fueled building. Economists believe construction will continue to show gains in 2017, reflecting a strong job market with unemployment at the lowest point in nine years. Financial markets sent stock prices to record highs following the election of Donald Trump, reflecting in part enthusiasm over his vows to increase spending on projects to repair and replace the country’s aging infrastructure. For November, the 1 percent rise in residential construction reflected a 1.8 percent rise in single-family construction which offset a 2.7 percent drop in the smaller and more volatile apartment construction sector.

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