U.S. Construction Spending Rises A Strong 1.1%

Spending on U.S. construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.032 trillion in December 2004, 1.1% higher than the revised November rate of $1.021 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department's Census Bureau reported on Feb. 1. The November-to-December increase was more than twice the five-tenths of a percentage point rise economists generally expected.

The total value of construction put in place across the U.S. last year was $998.4 billion, 9% higher than the 2003 figure of $915.7 billion.

In December, spending on private construction, including residential construction, was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $789 billion, nine-tenths of a percentage point higher than November's rate. For all of 2004, private construction spending was $764.9 billion, 10.9% above 2003's total of $690 billion.

In December 2004, spending on public construction -- which includes schools and highways -- was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $242.8 billion, 1.8% above the revised November rate of $238.4 billion. For full year 2004, spending on public construction was $233.5 billion, 3.4% above the $225.7 billion spent in 2003.

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