Construction Spending Posts August Gain

Confounding economists who were expecting a slowing housing sector to produce more of a drag, U.S. construction spending actually increased in August.

Construction spending during the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.2 trillion, three-tenths of a percentage point higher than the revised July rate of $1.196 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on October 2. This past Augusts rate also was 4.4% ahead of the August 2005 rate of $1.15 trillion.

In August 2006, private construction, which includes residential construction, was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $929.1 billion, a tenth of a percentage point above the revised July rate of $927.9 billion. Residential construction was at an annual rate of $617 billion, 1.5% below the revised July figure of $626.2 billion.

In August 2006, public construction, which includes highways and schools, was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $271.6 billion, 1.1% higher than the revised July rate of $268.8 billion.

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