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Construction spending edged up in November

January 3, 2011 | 12:29 pm

Construction spending in the U.S. inched up 0.4% in November, according to government data released Monday, the third consecutive monthly uptick. But the level of money spent on building projects remained well below its year-ago level.

Total construction ticked up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $810.2 billion in November, the Commerce Department said. That was down 6% from November 2009.

"It is too soon to tell if this sector, which has been in decline since March 2006, hit bottom in August 2010," said Patrick Newport, U.S. economist with research firm IHS Global Insight. "If it did, a solid rebound is unlikely.  Spending on single- and multi-family homes is likely to remain flat over the next few months, since housing starts, which have been essentially flat over the past 24 months, show no signs of taking off soon."

Residential construction increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $246.8 billion, a 0.7% increase from October but still down 4% from November 2009.

To see a full release of the data, look here.


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