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U.S. Construction Spending Unexpectedly Jumps 1.0% In February

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Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a significant increase in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Monday.

The Commerce Department said construction spending surged up by 1.0 percent to an annual rate of $1.320 trillion in February after spiking by an upwardly revised 2.5 percent to a rate of $1.307 trillion in January.

Economists had expected construction spending to dip by 0.2 percent compared to the 1.3 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected increase in construction spending came as spending on public construction soared by 3.6 percent to an annual rate of $325.8 billion in February.

Spending on highway construction led the way higher, skyrocketing by 9.5 percent to a rate of $111.1 billion, while spending on educational construction climbed by 0.8 percent to a rate of $76.3 billion.

The report said spending on private construction spending also rose by 0.2 percent to an annual rate of $994.5 billion in February.

The Commerce Department said an increase in spending on residential construction more than offset a drop in spending on non-residential construction.

Reflecting another monthly increase, construction spending in February was up by 1.1 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

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