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U.S. Construction Spending Jumps Much More Than Expected In January

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Reflecting a spike in spending on public construction, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing U.S. construction spending jumped much more than expected in the month of January.

The report said construction spending surged up by 1.3 percent to an annual rate of $1.280 trillion in January after falling by 0.8 percent to a revised rate of $1.263 billion in December.

Economists had expected construction spending to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, revised data showed construction spending tumbled by 1.3 percent in November compared to the previously reported 0.8 percent increase.

The bigger than expected increase in construction spending in December came as spending on public construction soared by 4.9 percent to an annual rate of $313.6 billion.

Spending on highway construction spiked by 11.8 percent to a rate of $99.9 billion, while spending on educational construction jumped by 2.2 percent to a rate of $77.8 billion.

The report said spending on private construction rose by 0.2 percent to a rate of $964.2 billion, as an increase in spending on non-residential construction was partly offset by a drop in spending on residential construction.

The Commerce Department said total construction spending in January was up by 0.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

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