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US Construction Spending goes up 1.4 Percent in March

Spending on construction projects in the US increases by 1.4 percent in March
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According to a report released by the Commerce Department today, increased construction of office buildings, hotels and factories have lifted the US construction industry after three straight months of a decline.

Spending on construction projects in the U.S. increased by 1.4 percent during the month of March after hitting a ten year low during February. This exceeded estimates by economists, who were only expecting an increase of about 0.8 percent. It marked the largest spending increase in the construction industry since last April.

"The rebound in construction spending in March provides further evidence that construction activity was held back early in the first quarter by the weather," said John Ryding, a chief economist at RDQ Economics.

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The amount of money dedicated to construction projects rose for both public and private sector projects. Spending on private housing projects rose by 2.2 percent while spending on construction projects for the public sector rose by 0.1 percent.

Factories saw a big boost in construction and expansion projects, with a 5.5 percent increase. Spending on hotels and motels rose by 4.7 percent, and office buildings grew by 1.4 percent.

However, the numbers for construction spending are still down 6.8 percent compared to March of last year.

One down area was spending on the construction of nonresidential buildings, which fell by 21.7 percent. Overall spending for construction in March stands at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $768.9 billion, which is only half of the $1.5 trillion pace that economists say is needed for healthy growth.

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